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Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders in New York

With an estimated 20 million residents, New York is the fourth most populous state in the US. It is the most ethnically diverse, religiously varied, commercially driven, and the most attractive urban center in the country. No other city matches New York in contribution to the collective consciousness of Americans. However, underneath all that is unholy matrimony of substance abuse and mental disorders.

Dealing with substance abuse is already a struggle for many. It becomes harder when they also have to cope with mental health problems. Until the 1980s, the general belief was that a person’s use of illegal substances in the root of subsequent mental illness.

In New York alone, an estimated 1.4 million people (7% of its population) suffer from co-occurring disorders. The term is used to describe cases where depression and cocaine addiction, alcoholism and panic disorder, etc. occur together in an individual.

It is commonly thought that symptoms of the mental disorder appear first, and that substance abuse is a coping mechanism for mental health disorders. Evidence-based research disproves this.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that 10 million Americans have a combination of at least one mental health and one substance abuse disorder in any twelve months.

Combinations of Co-occurring Disorders

There is not a single type of co-occurring disorder. A variety of different combinations of substance abuse and mental health disorders are possible. Each is unique in its way. However, certain combinations tend to be more prevalent. Our recommended rehab centers offer treatment for co-occurring disorders in New York and out-of-state.

Mental illnesses seen in co-occurring disorders include:

  • Schizophrenia.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Bulimia & Anorexia.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety disorder.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.

Any combination of the above and substance abuse or addiction is called a “co-occurring disorder.” This includes:

  1. Alcoholism and depression.
  2. Anorexia and cocaine dependence.
  3. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and heroin addiction.
  4. Prescription drug dependence and anxiety, etc.

Causes of Co-occurring Disorders

  1. Genetic predisposition: A genetic risk factor exists for both substance use and certain mental health disorders. Some people have a specific gene that puts them at risk of mental illness. The risk of having a co-occurring disorder is also increased if they had frequently used drugs when they were younger.
  2. Environmental triggers: The DNA alone is not to blame for all co-occurring disorders. Family dysfunction, environmental stress, traumatic life events, and more can also trigger genetic factors that contribute to co-occurring disorders.
  3. Pre-existing mental conditions: People who have a pre-existing mental disorder are at great risks of having a substance use disorder. This is because substances are seen as an easy escape.
  4. Substance abuse: The brain is a complicated and delicate organ, which is malleable to chemicals. Substance abusers are at greater risks of developing a mental health disorder. This is because substances may change the brain in ways that make a person more likely to develop a mental illness.

Symptoms of Co-occurring Disorders

Often, symptoms overlap and even mask each other. Other times, a disorder can worsen the symptoms of another. The physical and emotional symptoms of co-occurring disorders vary with the person, the type of substance, and the type of mental illness.

  • Substance dependence or addiction.
  • Unemployment & housing instability.
  • Finance & legal problems.
  • Unexplained mood shifts & aggressiveness.
  • Hygiene and health problems.
  • Isolation & suicidal ideation.

Why a Co-occurring Disorder is an Emergency

Despite knowledge about the condition, only about 1 in 20 people diagnosed receives evidence-based treatment for both conditions. When they are left untreated, people with co-occurring disorders are at a higher risk of homelessness, violence, suicide, incarceration, or even death. More so, because it is a very expensive problem, treatment is out of reach for most people.

Stigma is the greatest barrier to helping individuals with co-occurring disorders. Societal ideation that mental illness is dangerous as well as a family belief that people with substance use disorders have a moral failing is a big barrier to treatment.

Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

There is no universal treatment for co-occurring disorders. Most treatments for mental illness are usually developed for patients with a single diagnosis. Treating only one of the disorders will result in inadequate treatment and could potentially worsen the other condition.

The right treatment plan and period of treatment depends on the type of disorders and severity. Often, a combination of therapy involving integrated treatment is needed.

Integrated care is when health professionals combine addiction treatment and mental health care in one setting. Because there is a high risk of relapse in people with co-occurring disorders, an integrated treatment helps to provide the foundation for lasting recovery.

Help for co-occurring disorders in New York

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness and substance abuse, we are here to help you to achieve long-term recovery. Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery recommends the best rehab centers for co-occurring disorders in New York and out-of-state. These programs use a comprehensive approach to identify and evaluate both disorders. Treatment is tailored to patients according to age, the specific drug misused, and other factors.

Call us now and we will be glad to find you the right help.

Addiction Resources for New York

Residents of New York searching for addiction help now have plenty of resources to fight substance abuse. Our team of professionals is here to guide and support you during this difficult time. We work with a variety of Hudson Valley addiction treatment programs personalized to fit your needs:

Find treatment for co-occurring disorders in New York