There is nothing easy about overcoming addiction of any kind. However, the journey to a healthy and sober life can be complicated by the prevalence of mental health disorders, marking the need for a unique approach to healing and professional treatment. Co-occurring disorders are a common and difficult obstacle to overcome. Being prepared to cope with the continued effects of addiction and mental health disorders while addressing how they continue to inform each other throughout daily life is paramount in creating a truly effective and transformative recovery plan.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
Co-occurring disorders present a unique set of challenges for those navigating their recovery and sobriety. The term “co-occurring disorders” refers to any combination of a substance use disorder (SUD) alongside a mental health disorder. However, this can take many different forms depending on the individual. Some of the ways co-occurring disorders can manifest include:
- Alcohol use and anxiety
- Drug use and depression
- Amphetamines use and bipolar disorder
- Heroin use and schizophrenia
Any combination of an addictive substance and mental health disorder can constitute a co-occurring disorder. The use of various substances and any kind of mental health disorder, mood disorder, ADHD, and more can all create a unique set of needs and challenges throughout recovery.
How Mental Health Disorders and Substance Use Intersect
Professional treatment is necessary for challenging and overcoming co-occurring disorders of any kind, largely because it can be incredibly difficult to understand and predict how these challenges may continue to inform each other. For some, the prevalence of mental health disorders can cause an individual to turn to addictive substances in an attempt to self-medicate or placate tumultuous emotional states. However, for others, the use of addictive substances may instead birth newfound feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
Regardless of how they manifest, co-occurring disorders can create a cycle of challenges for those in recovery, often further perpetuating the use of drugs or alcohol and mental health needs themselves.
Overcoming Co-Occurring Disorders
Navigating effective treatment for overcoming co-occurring disorders is complicated. Not only must an individual be prepared to address the continued effects of mental health disorders, but also the challenges of urges, cravings, and more throughout addiction recovery. For many, the use of drugs or alcohol may be their only practiced or familiar coping strategy. Overcoming feelings of anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders without the use of addictive substances requires exploring new strategies, lifestyles, hobbies, and self-care outlets, all of which are scaffolded in professional treatment programs.
Addressing mental health disorders without acknowledging the detrimental effects of addictive substances can leave addiction continuing to mitigate a person’s efforts for improving their mental health. Likewise, creating strategies to address the use of drugs or alcohol without addressing the role that mental health plays in their use can leave an individual ill-prepared to adopt a genuinely transformed and effective strategy for a healthy life. Only addressing them in tandem is effective for sustained change.
Exploring Professional Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders at Redpoint
Professional care is paramount for not just exploring new strategies but also for understanding and educating oneself about the challenges ahead. Dedicated professionals can help each person overcoming co-occurring disorders create new plans for addressing their mental health needs and addiction recovery needs in tandem. They can also help clients adopt the most effective strategies for continued success outside of the treatment facility. Embracing the benefits of professional treatment is paramount for creating a comprehensive, holistic approach to change while balancing each person’s personal life outside the facility.
The Role of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the cornerstone of many effective recovery journeys and is paramount in challenging both the use of drugs or alcohol and mental health disorders. This form of talk therapy available at Redpoint creates the basis for the personalization of each individual’s recovery journey by challenging a person’s thoughts and unhealthy thought patterns. It also explores each person’s inherent responses to stress while addressing the connection between their thoughts and behaviors in an effort to create new practices that align with a person’s recovery goals.
Mindfulness and Acceptance
Practicing mindfulness empowers those in recovery to become more connected to their own bodies and feelings in the present moment. By acknowledging and accepting challenging feelings, a person can better exercise control and agency over their subsequent actions, whether they are feeling anxious, depressed, or experiencing intense urges and cravings. Exploring effective mindfulness practices with professionals can scaffold the most personalized practices for use outside of a treatment facility throughout outpatient care.
Dedication to Outpatient Programs
A malleable outpatient program schedule can also empower those in recovery from co-occurring disorders to best explore how personal stresses may impact their mental health, use of addictive substances, and more. From exploring the impact of workplace stresses to familial relationships, professionals are necessary to create a better understanding of recovery as a whole rather than attempting to tackle individual symptoms in isolation. Understanding how various stresses, mental health disorders, and substance use all continue to inform each other is necessary for an effective and transformative recovery journey.
Finding the right program and community that best facilitates healing from co-occurring disorders is necessary to truly overcome their unique and personal challenges. No two people will experience co-occurring disorders in the same way, and being able to personalize treatment while ingratiating oneself in a community of healing can provide the best approach to a healthy and changed future.
Professional treatment for overcoming co-occurring disorders is necessary. At Redpoint, we are ready to help you and your loved one address both the use of drugs and alcohol and the mental health disorders that accompany them in our dedicated outpatient programs. With multiple locations across Colorado, from Longmont to Fort Collins and Glenwood Springs, we are committed to supporting the local communities of Colorado in the pursuit of effective, transformative care. Your time with us can be personalized to fit your unique needs and goals, from personalized therapeutic approaches and treatments to introducing you to a community of peers and professionals to form your unique recovery story. For more information, call to speak to us at (303) 710-8496.