Co-Occuring Disorders

What Is Co-Occuring Disorders?

Rarely does an individual struggle with addiction as a stand-alone experience. Frequently an underlying problem drives someone’s abuse of alcohol or drugs. Quite literally, many people use substances to try to fix something else. When the underlying problem is psychological or psychiatric in nature, the term “Co-Occuring Disorders” is often used.

Many of these disorders have entered the day to day vocabulary of most people – depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to name but a few. When an individual enters into dependence on alcohol or drugs to reduce the discomfort of an underlying problem, we say that they have concomitant disorders.

Addressing concomitant disorders successfully requires that an individual be able to achieve and maintain abstinence from their drug of choice while the underlying issue is identified and a treatment plan established. In many ways, success depends on being able to address both problems concurrently. If the addiction is addressed without treating the underlying problem, the discomfort frequently drives the individual back to some form of self-medication. By the same token, the full extent and nature of an underlying psychological or psychiatric problem is not capable of being assessed accurately until an individual achieves abstinence for a period of time. Sober living housing with individual and group therapy can make a huge difference in a person’s life.

Successful Treatment

The successful treatment of individuals with co-occuring disorders depends on a multi-tiered approach – sobriety, psychotherapy, medication management, and medical oversight. There is a significant community of individuals who have successfully managed the integration of the 12 Step model with medication for concomitant disorders.

At Shadow Mountain, we are proud to have a multidisciplinary staff that is capable of addressing the complexities of individuals with concomitant disorders. Because of our strong program dedicated to helping clients achieve and maintain sobriety, we have adequate time to assess an individual’s psychological health once they have acquired a significant period of abstinence from their drug of choice. But additionally, our clinical team is experienced in both the diagnosis and treatment of concomitant disorders.

How Our Staff Can Help

We are aware that many clients coming to Shadow Mountain have seen both medical and behavioral health professionals prior to their arrival, and that they often come with “diagnoses in hand.” Our clinical staff is glad to consult with these providers at a family’s request to clarify any previous diagnoses. However, since many of those assessments are performed while an individual is still under the influence of alcohol or drugs, families should understand that a clearer clinical picture often emerges following a 60-90 day period of abstinence.

The clinical staff at Shadow Mountain Recovery provides a variety of clinical resources for individuals struggling with concomitant disorders including medication management, individual, and group psychotherapy. Additionally, we utilize a wide variety of methodologies consistent with best practices to assess underlying disorders experienced by students including traditional DSM-IV multiaxial interviewing, psychometric testing, and neurofeedback assessment. Our clinicians are always glad to consult with families to apprise them of a client’s current status and the approaches to treatment we employ to ensure a resident is reintegrated with the community.