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Co-Occurring Disorders

If you have a mental health diagnosis and a substance use disorder, you have co-occurring disorders, which is also referred to as a dual diagnosis. Choosing a program that helps you address both could finally set you on the road to recovery.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Co-occurring disorders are very common. Having a mental illness sometimes makes people more likely to become addicted to substances, perhaps because they’re self-medicating or trying to cope with difficult symptoms.

co-occurring disordersCommon examples of co-occurring disorders include:

It can be hard to diagnose a mental illness when there’s substance use going on. The symptoms of one can mimic symptoms of the other, or the addiction may mask the mental health issues. As a result, often only one disorder gets treated. But both disorders need careful attention and intervention, or you’re at a higher risk of overdose, suicide, incarceration, and other legal and medical problems.

How Are Co-Occurring Disorders Treated?

Co-occurring disorders are best treated someplace capable of addressing both disorders. Individual therapy focuses on both disorders and how they interact with each other.

If you have co-occurring disorders, your addiction treatment plan will factor in your unique needs and provide a strategy to help you become healthier and happier in a well-rounded way. For example, if you use an “upper” to cope with depression, you’ll need to learn better ways of coping with your feelings of sadness and loneliness.

Can Washburn House Treat My Co-Occurring Disorders?

Washburn House is co-occurring capable. This means that while we are primarily a substance abuse treatment facility, we do treat some co-occurring disorders if your primary diagnosis is substance-related.

Our trained and experienced clinicians can treat your substance use disorder along with:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD)

The pre-screening component of our admissions process is very sensitive, strength-based, and nonjudgmental. We’ll get to know not just what drug(s) you use and how much, but why you use them. Treating co-occurring disorders means looking at the big picture and seeing you as a whole. We’ll match you with a program best able to give you the level of support and intervention you need.

Washburn House is the ideal place to recover from your addiction as well as address your mental health issues. We offer detox, inpatient, and outpatient options for your addiction issue, and no matter which program you’re in, you’ll receive:

  • Comprehensive assessment of your mental illness, including how severe it is
  • A treatment plan tailored to your needs
  • Individual therapy with a clinician who’s qualified to help you navigate your symptoms
  • Medication management from a psychiatrist, as well as psychiatric evaluation if needed

Washburn House’s group therapy incorporates various mental health topics. We also implement several behavioral therapies. Many of our interventions, like mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, are helpful for both addiction recovery and mental health treatment.

What Treatment Path Is Right for Me?

Your pre-screening will help determine which of the following programs best serves your needs:

Clinically Managed Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab – This residential program is our highest level of care and provides around-the-clock support. It might be right for you if your mental health disorder makes it hard to stay motivated to be sober.

Day Treatment Program/Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – Day Treatment, or PHP, is a step down from inpatient care. You’ll spend the day at our treatment facility, but in the evening, you’ll go home or to our extended-care sober-living environment.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – IOP at Washburn House will provide a sober support network once you’re back in your community. We’ll help you use the coping skills you learned from your substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.

Does Having a Co-Occurring Disorder Make It Harder to Stay Sober?

Having a co-occurring disorder can make it more difficult to stay sober, which is why it’s important to get help as soon as you can. After you detox from substances, your withdrawal symptoms could include a rush of painful thoughts and feelings you were covering up with alcohol or drugs. For this reason, a higher level of care—such as the 24/7 support found in a residential setting—is highly recommended for co-occurring disorders. Our team will work with you to determine if this is right for you.

co-occurring disorders

A strong focus will be placed on engagement and motivation during treatment. When your symptoms get especially tough to handle, you might feel a strong urge to resume drug use. Your individual therapist will help you develop a set of goals that are powerful and meaningful for you. This will help you stay focused on the finish line when the road gets long.

What Happens When I Leave Washburn House?

While you’re in substance abuse treatment at Washburn House in Worcester, you’ll learn a wide variety of coping skills. When you leave, you’ll be better prepared to face your triggers and stressors, but you’ll still need support! Just as your treatment plan will be individualized, so will your aftercare plan. It will include things like outpatient therapy, medication management, and support groups.

You’ll also create a thorough relapse prevention plan before you leave Washburn House. It will point you in the right direction when you’re triggered or experience a spike in mental health symptoms. You won’t be unprepared when you leave, and you certainly won’t be alone.

You don’t need to keep suffering from your co-occurring disorders. Give us at Washburn House a call today!

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