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What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 10.3 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in 2018 — 3.7 percent of the population. An estimated 9.2 million adults aged 18 or older suffered from both a mental illness and at least one substance use disorder in the past year, or what’s referred to as a co-occuring disorder. 

In this brief article, we discuss who is at risk for developing a co-occurring disorder, the symptoms of co-occurring disorders, and how co-occurring disorders can be treated. If you or a loved one is struggling with a co-occuring disorder, request an appointment for heroin addiction treatment in Tampa

Related: 5 Reasons to Seek Substance Abuse Treatment in Tampa

Who Is at Risk for Co-Occurring Disorders?

Addiction and co-occurring disorders can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, or race. However, there are certain risk factors associated with co-occurring disorders, including:

  • Environmental influences, such as exposure to trauma
  • Certain brain characteristics that make the individual more vulnerable to addictive substances
  • A family history of mental illness, substance use, or both
  • Lack of appropriate treatment for mental illness
  • Lack of appropriate treatment for substance use

Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders

The symptoms of co-occurring disorders can be difficult to recognize, as symptoms of substance use can mask symptoms of mental illness and vice versa. However, co-occurring disorders most often result in a worsening of mental health symptoms even when treatment is provided because those with mental illnesses use these substances to feel better. This can prevent the individual from treating their mental illness and from developing healthy relationships and coping skills. 

In addition to the combined symptoms of their mental illness and addiction, the individual experiences symptoms such as impaired social function, poor physical health, and increased risk of suicide. Warning signs for when it’s time to seek immediate help include sudden changes to behavior, such as extreme mood swings, problems concentrating, avoiding social interactions, or contemplating suicide. 

Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders

For the purposes of treating co-occurring disorders, the integrated treatment model has been found to produce the best possible patient outcomes, as it addresses the symptoms and complexities of both disorders. Integrated treatment may include a number of methods, such as residential treatment, psychotherapy, supportive housing, and support groups. Regardless of the method of treatment used to treat substance abuse, the most important thing is to connect with a treatment provider dedicated to creating a unique integrated approach that best suits your needs. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with a treatment specialist about heroin abuse treatment in Tampa. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Phoenix House Florida. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Phoenix House Florida is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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How Can We Help?

At Our House

For some patients, stepping away from the buzz of everyday life is the only way to make a full recovery. Inpatient treatments help patients refocus their recovery efforts to achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes.

The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.

At Your House

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.