Co-occuring Disorders

Co-occurring Disorders & Substance Abuse Treatment

The research on mental health disorders and substance abuse has grown, thus the need to describe disorders occurring simultaneously or at the same time becomes more significant. As a result, scientists, physicians and psychologists determined that Dual Diagnosis did not fulfill the need to address what was happening with a person.  A broader term, Co-occurring disorders (COD) now includes that of Dual Diagnosis. To address this new awareness, the American Medical Association in its diagnostic manual (DSM V) included those who suffer from more than one mental health disorder and those who suffer from one or more substance abuse problems.

These disorders can affect one’s ability to respond well to treatment if an accurate diagnosis has not been made. Chances of drug or alcohol relapse are greater among those clients who have untreated co-occurring disorders. Dr. Merikangas (NIMH, Senior Investigator and Section Chief) at a 2007  NIMH Alliance for Research Progress meeting discussed what the research has internationally revealed:

  • Comprehensive screening for co-occurring disorders is necessary.
  • Treatment for mental and substance abuse disorders must be integrated.
  • Barriers to treatment for comprehensive treatment need to be eliminated.

According to the government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 8.9 million adults suffer from co-occurring disorders. Of that number, only 7.4 percent of individuals receive treatment for co-occurring disorder. Sadly, 55.8 percent of those suffering from co-occurring disorders receive no treatment at all.

Treatment Alternatives provides a multidisciplinary approach to treating clients with co-occurring disorders starting with comprehensive screenings, accurate diagnosis, and all-encompassing treatment plans. Healthcare regulatory agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health or the Joint Commission, consider attention to co-occurring disorders a must in substance abuse treatment. Our goal to provide the best treatment possible reflects Treatment Alternatives commitment to utilizing best practices, thereby, increasing clients’ chances of building a solid foundation for long term recovery.

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