A co-occurring disorder is when a patient is diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. It has been estimated that approximately 15 million adults in the United States experience depression per year. Of those battling depression, it is believe that as many as 33% will also engage in alcohol or drug abuse.
On the other hand, those engaging in substance abuse may become depressed due to changes in brain chemistry caused by the abuse. It is important to note that every case is different and not all patients begin with depression and move to substance abuse or vis versa.
Those experiencing depression will often try to self medicate by using drugs or alcohol in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms. However, while they may experience some short term relief, they will often see their original symptoms worsen. This cycle of depression and substance abuse will continue to feed itself until treatment is sought after.
While addiction or depression is difficult to overcome when presented separately, it is more difficult to overcome a diagnosis of co-occurring disorders and is why professional treatment is critical to recovery.
Depression and substance abuse both present high risks of self harm, injury, as well as accidental death or suicide. The nature of co-occurring depression and substance abuse substantially increases these risks. If you or a loved one is experiencing depression and has an issue with substance abuse, it is important to get help as quickly as possible.
At Recovery Coast, we partner with licensed detox facilities that are specifically equipped to combat co-occurring disorders. Our trained staff with over 30 years of experience are also available and present 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to help our patients. Our licensed counselors and therapists are also specifically trained to work with those who may be affected by a co-occurring disorder.