Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that can negatively impact every area of your life. Oftentimes, substance abuse stems from underlying mental health issues or unresolved past traumas. It is common for people suffering from addiction to be completely unaware that they have an underlying mental illness, as the substances make it difficult to separate symptoms for a diagnosis.
If you are struggling with an addiction and a mental health condition, both illnesses must be addressed simultaneously. If you only receive treatment for your substance abuse, your underlying mental illness could cause you to relapse later on. In other words, you must learn to manage your psychological symptoms before you can fully recover from a substance use disorder.
There are plenty of addiction treatment programs that include some form of mental health treatment. For example, substance abuse comprehensive outpatient programs (SACOTs) offer integrated treatment for addiction and mental health.
What are Co-Occurring Disorders?
When someone suffers from at least one addiction and one mental health condition, they have co-occurring disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “approximately 9.2 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder.”
The most common mental health conditions to co-occur with substance use disorders include:
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder (depression)
- Conduct disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
It is important to note that any mental health condition can co-occur with any addiction. If you experience the symptoms of a mental illness and struggle with substance abuse, you are most likely suffering from co-occurring disorders. You should always seek professional treatment that addresses both your mental health condition and your substance use disorder to ensure long-term recovery.
Can You Get Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health at the Same Time?
Having co-occurring disorders can complicate addiction treatment, as the symptoms of various mental illnesses can amplify your urge to use drugs. People often attempt to self-medicate the symptoms of their mental health condition, whether they are aware of it or not.
Due to the likelihood of self-medication, only receiving treatment for your addiction puts you at an increased risk of relapsing. Thankfully, addiction treatment programs across the nation have begun to include specialized programs intended to address co-occurring disorders. These programs include evidence-based mental health services as well as traditional addiction treatment techniques.
By combining mental health and addiction treatment in one program, patients can fully recover from their co-occurring disorders and maintain long-term recovery outside of the facility.
How to Tell if You Need Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Because substance abuse can mask the symptoms of a mental illness, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of co-occurring disorders.
If you identify with the following symptoms, you must receive treatment for addiction and mental health at the same time:
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Social isolation
- Issues with concentration
- Confused thinking
- Neglecting your personal hygiene
- Abusing substances in risky situations
- Impulsive behavior
- Extended periods of sadness, despair, or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
- Feeling anxious or experiencing panic attacks
- Having little to no control over how much you use substances or drink alcohol
- Needing more and more of a substance to experience an effect (developing tolerance)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you cannot abuse the substance
- Cravings or urges to abuse the substance
The symptoms of mental health conditions vary from person to person, heavily depending on the type of illness they are experiencing. If you suspect that you suffer from both a mental illness and an addiction, it is important to be evaluated by a professional.
What is a Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment (SACOT)?
At Next Step Recovery Center, we have a program designed to help people recover from mental health conditions and substance use disorders at the same time. This program is referred to as Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment (SACOT).
SACOT is similar to inpatient rehab as it is fully immersive and intensive, however, patients are allowed to return home at night after they receive treatment. The program requires you to attend treatment 5 times per week, providing you with plenty of time to develop healthy coping mechanisms, learn how to manage your psychiatric symptoms, and achieve long-term sobriety.
During SACOT in North Carolina, you will work with an expert to create a customized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. This ensures that the services you receive are relevant to your mental health condition and substance use disorder, preventing you from wasting any time during rehab.
Your treatment plan may include a combination of the following services:
- Individual and Group Therapy
- Educational course on relapse prevention & life skills
- Periodic evaluations
- Music & art therapy
- Yoga & Meditation
- 12-Step immersion
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Trauma & grief counseling
Find Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health in North Carolina Today
Dealing with co-occurring disorders can be extremely difficult, especially if you are trying to recover on your own. Professional treatment programs like Next Step Recovery’s SACOT can provide you with the support and tools you need to successfully recover from addiction and mental illness at the same time.
To learn more about our Substance Abuse Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment Program, contact Next Step Recovery today.