Integrated Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with an illness like substance abuse and addiction, it is imperative that you learn as much as you possibly can about the condition. Education on substance use disorders and psychiatric conditions can be crucial to your long term treatment and rehabilitation progress.

It is not essential that you remember all the specific facts from every lesson you learn. However, you still need to ensure that you understand the disorder so that you can have better outcomes in your treatment.

About Integrated Treatment

Integrated treatment is essential if you have a substance use disorder - or an addiction involving alcohol and drugs - as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. A mental illness is a disorder that will disrupt your ability to relate to other people, as well as affect your mood, feelings, and thinking. Mental illnesses, to this end, are brain disorders that typically result from a diminished capacity to cope with the demands of day to day life.

Substance use disorders or addiction, on the other hand, involve taking drugs and alcohol in excess to such an extent that you develop tolerance, dependence, and eventually addiction. They involve both behavioral problems as well as medical disorders of the brain. They can also lead to significant distress and impairment.

These disorders are interlinked - in the sense that mental illness can be as a result or a cause of a substance use disorder and vice versa. Addiction, for instance, can cover up or mask a pre-existing psychiatric condition, keep you from seeking proper treatment and rehabilitation services, imitate or mimic a psychiatric disorder, as well as worsen the mental disorders that you are struggling with.

Additionally, the addiction could increase the symptoms of your mental illness, such as mental confusion, hallucinations, illogical thinking, unusual behavior, depression, paranoia, anxiety, and mood swings.

All of these disorders can also affect each other by complicating the treatment of each disorder. They may also make it more difficult to plan for treatment, reduce the effectiveness of the medications that you take, as well as prevent you from developing healthy coping strategies to manage all disorders.

It might also be difficult for you to tell where your addiction starts and stops as well as well the psychiatric disorder starts. For instance, if you are depressed you might not know if it is as a result of your drug taking and alcoholism. If you are anxious, on the other hand, you might not be able to tell the difference between this disorder and the mood swings that arise when you abuse alcohol.

Working towards abstinence and reducing your drug use is the only way you can make it clear whether the symptoms you are suffering were as a result of substance abuse or a real mental health disorder.

In case you still display mental health symptoms after giving up your favorite substances of abuse, it might be possible that you have a co-occurring mental health disorder. This will, however, largely depend on the symptoms that you are struggling with.

About Co-Occurring Disorders

A dual diagnosis - also known as co-occurring disorders - happens when you have a substance use disorder as well as a mental health disorder. All of these disorders are independent of each other as well as primary conditions.

As a result, it means that each of the disorders will have their own lives and will not be dependent on the other illness for its progression, continuation, and cause. Each disorder, on the other hand, will not have any effects on the processes of the other.

For this reason, it is essential that you seek integrated addiction treatment - also known as dual diagnosis treatment - if you have been diagnosed with both a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Long term treatment that is simultaneous and thorough for all of these disorders is also necessary for long term success and recovery. The important thing to keep in mind is that serious and persistent mental illnesses like mood disorders and schizophrenia - as well as drug dependence and addiction - are now considered to be medical disorder. Although this might seem strange, it is still important to consider these illnesses as treatable and manageable medical disorders.

For starters, you should remember that these disorders are both medical issues that affect the brain. All of the organs in your body might be able to experience a disorder, imbalance, deficiency, and malfunction that leads to a long term or a short term illness.

For this reason, the brain is an organ that is in your body. As a result, it can also be vulnerable to various deficiencies, imbalances, malfunctions, and disorders. This is why it is essential that you get it treated as well as you possibly can.

In the same way, you should keep in mind that you are not your illness. This is because what your body and brain are going through does not define who you are as a person. You, therefore, need to realize that you are still an individual and you have unique strengths and qualities. All your diagnosis means is that you have a medical issue that you need to treat.

Getting Help

As long as you accept the fact that you have a dual diagnosis involving both substance abuse and addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health or medical disorder, it will be easier for you to start getting help for both of these conditions.

Acceptance will ensure that you do not judge yourself for the medical condition that you have been diagnosed with. Judgement thinking will only make it more difficult for you to realize that it is possible to achieve full recovery. Instead, you should accept your diagnosis as well as start taking positive steps in the right direction to get the integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation services that you need to overcome your addiction and substance abuse as well as manage any other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders - and also any other behavioral health disorders - that you were also diagnosed with alongside your substance use disorder.

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