Most addiction rehab facilities attempt to guide patients toward living more productive lifestyles. Yet, patients struggling with a co-occurring mental illness or substance abuse issue may not receive the needed treatment for both issues. Patients who ignore the underlying condition only increases the risk of relapse, when co-occurring treatment is not as complicated as some are lead to believe.
One problem with some addiction rehab center facilities is that they provide residential treatment for addiction or mental illness, but not co-occurring conditions. Ultimately, patients do not receive treatment for the underlying disorder and relapse.
Co-occurring disorders in patients are not as uncommon as people realize. Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says “As many as six in 10 substance abusers also have at least one other mental disorder.” Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out “People with mental health disorders are more likely than people without mental health disorders to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder.”
When people receive residential treatment for both disorders simultaneously, research indicates a higher success rate and lower incidence of relapse.
The facts about co-occurring conditions
Living with a mental illness or drug addiction is difficult enough, but living with co-occurring conditions is even more difficult. Patients who receive treatment at facilities with an integrated treatment approach, also gain a second chance at living a productive life.
In an article written by Donna M. White and published by Psych Central, White explains that, “Dealing with either can be difficult, but it is often more difficult to deal with both.” Too often, patients will only complete a treatment program for one condition, only to have the underlying condition ruin all of their efforts.
It is understandable that a person struggling from co-occurring mental illness and a substance abuse disorder, experiences apprehension and fear. However, “Each disorder has its own unique symptoms that can impair one’s ability to function and often interact with each other.”
The benefits of long-term treatment
People will falsely believe that treatment for an addiction or mental illness only lasts a few weeks at best. In reality, treatment can take up to several months depending on the condition and even then, an individual will continue to struggle with symptoms well after completing treatment. The best method to live a prosperous life after a treatment program and continue down the healthy path, is to enter into long-term treatment for all conditions.
Research proves that outcomes for those receiving residential treatment are better than those in short-term treatment. One such study, published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded, “Those who received long-term treatment experienced improvements between entry into the program and six-month follow-up, and they were more likely to have engaged in treatment than individuals in the short-term group.”
At these follow-up appointments, “Individuals in the long-term residential treatment group were more likely to have maintained abstinence and less likely to have experienced homelessness than those in the short-term group.”
With proper guidance and tools, a patient can return to a life free of the addiction or disorder that held them back. It is possible to return to a life of productivity and happiness, after beating addiction or mental illness. In fact, NIDA says, “According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.”
Following completion of a long-term program, patients can continue to receive support and check-up appointments as they adjust to a new life. Do not hesitate to begin the journey toward a better life today.
- Going Into Treatment For Mental Health And Substance Abuse - May 16, 2016