There was a time when psychiatric conditions and substance abuse never shared the same billing. That is because many believed that drug or alcohol addiction was a separate challenge unrelated to a mental health disorder. Only recently have treatment providers understood that a mental health disorder can enable an addiction, or that an addiction can enable a mental health disorder. Fast forward to today and drug addiction centers now realize that co-occurring disorders can inhibit or suppress an individual’s full recovery.
Today’s Outlook on Co-Occurring Disorders
Today, addiction specialists and health clinicians are on the same page with respect to co-occurring disorders and how they should be treated. Treating co-occurring disorders has become a field within itself, and rightfully so. As much as five percent of the nation’s population may suffer from some form of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The number looks even more bleak for the estimated 20 percent of the population that struggles with some form of mental illness. Throw in the millions of people that also suffer drug or alcohol abuse and the nation is like a powder keg capable of blowing up at any time.
Genesis Recovery knows that integrated care has proven itself to be an effective treatment because it combines disciplines from both the addiction treatment and psychiatric fields. As a result, integrated care has lowered relapse rates, helping drop suicide rates and increasing the number of patients who overcome their addiction.
Integrated recovery plans are designed to deliver the following:
- Treatment that permits patients to overcome mental health disorders, including low attention spans, low motivational levels, and fears of socializing.
- Care that pays close attention to mental health, because not addressing mental health disorders complicates efforts to address substance abuse disorders. Rehab efforts could be in vain when a co-occurring condition is overlooked.
- Effective individual, group, and family therapies that help clients understand how their thinking relates to present and past behavior patterns. Group therapy places patients in a group setting where they can share and discuss issues surrounding addiction and cures. Patients can bond with others who understand their own unique experience with either mental health or drug-related issues. Patients are also reassured of privacy, as group members all agree that everything discussed in the group remains private. Family therapies are also critically important. They provide families and their addicted loved ones with opportunities to voice concerns in a controlled and non-threatening environment. Addictions and mental health disorders can create great divides in family and social relationships. Sometimes, those relationships are beyond repair.
In addition to integrated care, alternative therapies have also earned the respect of the clinical community. Holistic therapies may use a combination of methods that are nature-based:
- Treating the Mind – There are reasons why a person will turn to an addictive substance for solace. Treating the mind will help to uncover those mysteries. Some people have greater difficulties coping with stress and anxiety. The reasons are often mental. Patients, through one-on-one counseling, can learn new skills that can be leveraged for life. Addiction recovery, for the most part, consists of learning a different, more positive, approach to solving problems.
- Treating the Spirit – Holistic treatments also help heal the spirit. Patients may choose to engage in meditation, yoga, and even acupuncture to help relieve tension and to become more aware of what happens on both the inside and outside of the person.
- Treating the Body – A person is comprised of mind, spirit, and body. Thus, it is important to address a client’s nutritional needs. Bodies drained by addiction need nutrients and a healthy diet to repair. When people feel strong and healthy, they are far more likely to take control of their destinies. A strong body can be an excellent defense against depression and anxiety.
Ongoing Support Following Rehab
After completing their drug rehab program, patients realize their journey toward sobriety has only just begun. Engaging in aftercare services is just as important as finding a rehab program that fits. Even after they leave treatment, the recovering patient should still have access to counselors, psychiatrists, and support groups that can help the individual pursue long-term and complete sobriety.
Addiction recovery can be a lifelong endeavor. Individuals can leverage all they have learned for an entire lifetime and continue to gain knowledge about life, people, and themselves. In fact, it may be that recovering individuals understand life in ways that the average person cannot. They know how fragile life is, and how devastating taking the wrong fork in the road can be. This does not make them better, perhaps simply more aware and grateful for a second chance at living.