Addiction Comorbidity: Does It Make Recovery Harder?
How is Addiction Defined?
The term addiction is widely known among Americans, however, understanding the true concept and impacts that addiction entails is often widely misunderstood. When the term addiction is used, it is often accompanied by an image or stereotype of a certain type of individual that has negative connotations associated with it. The reality about addiction is that it can happen to anyone and the millions of Americans that are impacted by addiction all have their own unique experiences and circumstances that have contributed to addiction. While there are some people that may face significant life consequences such as loss of employment or being unhoused, there are some individuals living with an active addiction that are able to maintain their lifestyles and employment while struggling with addiction behind closed doors. The one thing that rings true for every person that is living with an addiction is that there is more to a person than just their addiction and each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect as you are going through the difficult journey of active addiction and addiction recovery.
Before you are able to support someone or yourself address and heal from addiction, it is important to gain a true understanding of addiction and what it means to have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is classified as a primary, chronic disease that impacts the brain’s motivation, reward, and memory circuitry. The term chronic means that the disease of addiction is progressive with many beginning addiction as a recreational activity initially and as time goes on, the use increases and progresses into alarming levels that pose serious concerns and risks to substance abusers. Addiction is also classified as chronic as there is no cure for addiction but rather it can be treated and managed through a variety of evidence based treatment and ongoing therapy methods that will help you to maintain a life of sobriety. Lastly, addiction is defined as chronic as it has the potential of becoming fatal depending on the severity of your addiction.
For most people living with an active addiction, you did not wake up one morning and decide to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Your substance use often progressed over time as a method of coping or managing unpleasant or difficult emotions and traumas. As your substance use continues in a form of self medicating, there is an increased risk for addiction and substance abuse to continue. A key component of addiction treatment is to address these underlying causes and heal from them while gaining the tools and coping skills to maintain sobriety.
What is Addiction Comorbidity?
The term comorbidity refers to a person that is living with two or more illnesses at the same time. Addiction comorbidity refers to when a person is living with a substance use disorder along with one or more mental health disorders at the same time. These disorders can occur simultaneously or can occur one after another depending on the person. It is common for individuals living with an active addiction to drugs and alcohol to have an ongoing mental health concern or previous mental health disorders as they tend to feed into one another without the proper treatment and support being provided.
Each person with an addiction comorbidity will have their own unique circumstances with co occurring disorders. For some individuals that are living with a mental health disorder, the symptoms and side effects of certain mental health concerns can be challenging to manage on their own. As symptoms progress, many will turn to alcohol or drugs as a means to self medicate to mitigate the severity and impact of the symptoms of mental health disorders. Whereas, there are other individuals that enter into an addiction with no present mental health concerns and as their addiction progresses, there is an increased risk for developing a psychiatric mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or personality disorders. An addiction comorbidity treatment program will need to offer comprehensive therapy methods that will target healing from your addiction while gaining the tools to manage symptoms of any presenting mental health disorders with natural, holistic treatments.
Does Addiction Comorbidity Make Recovery Harder?
Seeking treatment for addiction comorbidity requires finding a treatment center that offers a comprehensive treatment option that will be able to effectively address and treat both your substance use disorders and co occurring mental health conditions. Recovery from addiction comorbidity does not mean that your addiction recovery process will be harder, it simply means that your treatment program needs to be tailored to meet your individual needs to ensure you are able to successfully acquire the skills and tools to maintain long term recovery.
A treatment program for addiction comorbidity will need to incorporate a variety of evidence based therapy methods that include behavioral therapy, 12 step recovery programs, medication assisted treatment programs, and dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is an essential component of addiction comorbidity recovery as this form of treatment will focus on treating your addiction to drugs and alcohol while also exploring the impacts that your substance abuse has had on your mental health disorders. Patients will be able to safely explore the root causes of your addictive behaviors while developing the knowledge and skills to understand how to effectively manage any presenting symptoms from a mental health disorder through natural, holistic treatment methods. As patients strengthen their skills in managing and stabilizing mental health conditions, it creates space to move through the therapeutic process of addiction therapy allowing you to begin the healing process of releasing the negative emotions and traumas that have influenced your addictive behaviors. Throughout addiction comorbidity treatment, patients will be supported by therapists to develop healthy life skills and tools for relapse prevention that will assist you in being able to overcome any presenting triggers and learn the signs and symptoms to be aware of when you will need to reach out for support for your mental health disorders should you need to.
Get Help with Addiction and Comorbidies at Resurgence Behavioral Health
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer all patients an individualized treatment program that is designed to meet the unique needs of all of our patients. We value the individual circumstances and needs of all of our patients and are committed to walking alongside you every step of the way as you embark on the healing journey of addiction treatment. Our licensed therapists are highly credentialed and trained in leading addiction and mental health therapy methods that will allow you to gain understanding of your co occurring disorders while helping you establish a new foundation in life that fosters health, stability, and sober living.
Patients within our inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment programs are provided with a whole person integrated approach to healing that will target healing from your addiction comorbidity within your body, mind, and spirit. Through holistic and evidence based therapy methods, our patients have been able to heal from their underlying causes of addiction and gain balance in mental health functioning allowing you to live a fulfilling life in addiction recovery. Healing is possible and you don’t have to do it alone. Our team is waiting to hear from you to get you started on your road to recovery now with a treatment program that is customized to meet your needs and goals for recovery. Call us today to have any of your questions answered and start your healing journey now.