Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders in Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a strong dependency that causes pathological changes in a person’s body. Often, when examining a drug addict, doctors diagnose several co-occurring mental disorders. To eliminate them, it is important to understand the cause of these conditions and their connection to drug addiction.
Why do co-occurring disorders arise?
Psychoactive substances are closely linked to a person’s mental health, as evident from their name. The chemical composition of drugs not only induces a sense of euphoria but also actively affects the central nervous system. As a result, neural connections are damaged, leading to changes in behavior and emotional states. Regular drug abuse leads to pathologies, which become the cause of mental disorders.
There is also a reverse relationship between drugs and mental health. Emotional and behavioral disorders often manifest in a person long before their first use of psychoactive substances. Since mental illnesses weaken the social aspect of an addict’s life and their ability to assess situations rationally, they become vulnerable to illegal drug propaganda. Consequently, even after their first use, a strong dependency may develop that is not only chemical but also psychological.
It is important to understand that randomly identifying the type of co-occurring disorder and its relationship to drug addiction is not possible. Each person’s psyche is unique, so for a comprehensive and accurate diagnosis, it is crucial to seek professional help. Intervention from a specialist will not only determine the nature of the pathology but also develop an effective strategy to combat it.
Types of co-occurring disorders
Accurate diagnosis is critical to prevent the condition from becoming irreversible. Among drug addicts, the following types of pathologies are often identified:
- Depression: The most common companion of addicts, especially noticeable during periods of chemical sobriety. It can be identified by profound sadness, melancholy, and a constant sense of sorrow rather than sporadic manifestations. The patient loses interest even in their favorite activities. While drug addiction can cause depression, it can also exacerbate an existing condition.
- Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive psychosis: A person’s behavior consists of two extremes – euphoria and depression, which can switch unpredictably without any basis. During the euphoria phase, the drug addict becomes hyperactive, constantly active, and speaks rapidly and incoherently. In the opposite state, typical symptoms of depression appear.
- Schizophrenia: Can arise as a consequence of drug addiction or be exacerbated by psychoactive substances. Patients experience hallucinations and delusions, making them dangerous to others. At different stages of schizophrenia, it can coexist with other types of disorders.
- Neurosis: Appears if the patient is predisposed to neurological disorders. Symptoms include sleep disturbances, mood swings, anxiety, headaches, and sweating. Drugs significantly worsen the condition.
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder): Often serves as the cause of drug addiction, as individuals use psychoactive substances to seek relief. This combination leads to a strong dependence, as PTSD worsens during periods of sobriety.
Address the root cause, not just the symptoms
To ensure effective treatment of drug addiction, it is crucial to accurately determine the cause-and-effect relationship. If drug addiction has developed due to existing mental problems, treating these disorders is as crucial as overcoming the chemical dependency. Neglecting this aspect can lead to the patient suffering greatly from exacerbated symptoms, which cannot be suppressed by drug use. If co-occurring disorders are a consequence of drug addiction rather than the cause, comprehensive rehabilitation can significantly alleviate their symptoms, making further treatment easier and allowing them to live a full life.
Methods of overcoming co-occurring disorders
Depending on the type of disorder and the severity of its manifestations, treatments may include medication, psychotherapy, and other approaches. To select effective treatment, it is recommended to consult qualified specialists, such as those at the IsraRehab clinic. A comprehensive approach to rehabilitation will help eliminate addiction and disorders, enabling individuals to live a fulfilling and free life without obstacles.