Addiction rarely occurs in a vacuum. Although the illness of addiction is complicated and there are many contributing factors there's no doubt that for many people addiction is the result of attempts to relieve painful feelings associated with a variety of underlying issues such as depression anxiety bi-polar disorder or trauma.
It is estimated that at least half of individuals seeking drug or alcohol treatment or rehab are struggling with a significant mental disorder. The existence of addiction paired with an underlying disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis.
While drugs and alcohol can numb the pain when life becomes too much to handle the benefits are temporary. In time tolerance develops and more and more of the substance is required just to feel somewhat normal.
Many addicted people are unaware of the underlying issues. In many cases they know that something isn't right but they are unable to identify the problem. Mental health issues that underlie addiction can be notoriously difficult to pinpoint without professional help.
Many Treatment Centers Fail to Provide Adequate Treatment
Unfortunately many treatment providers fail to provide adequate treatment for co-occurring disorders even though simply taking away the addictive substance while ignoring the underlying issues leaves a gaping wound that that continues to worsen.
Research by New York’s Columbia University indicates that many drug and alcohol treatment centers and rehabs lack the skills education and experience necessary to provide comprehensive therapy possibly because it’s much easier to deal with the addiction alone than to confront the root causes which can be distressing and painful. As a result many rely on old ineffective treatments instead of modern evidence-based approaches.
Identifying and Treating Underlying Issues
Treating co-occurring disorders requires the assistance of skilled professionals that can identify and help resolve underlying issues If mental health issues are left untreated the risk of failure and relapse is tremendous as people are likely to return to the same problematic behavior when difficult situations or issues arise.
Effective treatment helps people learn new ways of coping when difficult times arise. It involves well-tested therapeutic techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT which helps people recognize and change negative thinking patterns.
Selecting a Treatment Center or Rehab
With an experienced treatment team it’s possible to develop recovery goals including an aftercare plan that promotes awareness of triggers and minimizes chances of relapse. Although dealing with co-occurring issues is complicated it’s very possible with treatment to address both issues and go on to enjoy a satisfying substance-free life.
If you’re looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one do your homework. Ask questions and check the credentials of therapists and other treatment professionals. Don’t feel you have to choose a Twelve-Step based program if you think it isn’t the best approach for you.
Addiction treatment is never a one-size-fits-all proposition and cookie-cutter treatments rarely work. We offer private non-judgmental very empathic treatment tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Our team consists of highly trained and experienced professionals with extensive knowledge to address addiction and the widest range of co-occurring and underlying issues.