Addictions and Mental Health

Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders

Individuals with co-occurring addictions and mental health represent a growing population among the drug and alcohol addiction community. Studies show that individuals with mental health issues are more likely to have substance use disorders then the general population in individuals without mental illness. In fact, about half of the people that receive some form of addiction therapy have been shown to have a lifetime history of major depressive disorder. Similarly, almost half of individuals with major depressive disorder have a lifetime history of substance use disorder. Drug misuse can exacerbate mental health disorders. Untreated mental health issues can lead to using drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. The two disorders can reinforce each other, exasperating both conditions. Healing River recognizes that substance misuse and mental health tend to go hand in hand, forming a self-perpetuating cycle (Reiger, D.A., Farmer, M.E. & Rae, D.S.; 1990).


At Healing River, we recognize that an individual who is addicted to alcohol or drugs could also be coping with depression, or have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our approach to addiction is to treat the whole person by providing integrated treatments for both substance misuse and mental health.

 “Concurrent disorder treatment is holistic treatment.”


Research shows that an integrated treatment model like at Healing River Recovery & Wellness Centre is an effective approach for reducing relapse (Sanders, A.L., Mackintosh, B; 2014).

 

Some examples of concurrent disorders that we treat can include combinations such as:

  • drinking problem and anxiety disorder
  • cannabis dependence and schizophrenia 
  • heroin dependence and borderline personality disorder
  • sleeping pills dependence and depression 

A large American study found the following rates:

  • 30 per cent of people diagnosed with a mental health disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some time in their lives. This is close to twice the rate found in people who do not have a lifetime history of a mental health disorder.
  • 37 per cent of people diagnosed with an alcohol disorder will have a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. This is close to twice the rate found in people who do not have a lifetime history of a substance use disorder.
  • 53 per cent of people diagnosed with a substance use disorder (other than alcohol) will also have a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. This is close to four times the rate found in people who do not have a lifetime history of a substance use disorder. - Reiger, D.A., Farmer, M.E. & Rae, D.S. (1990). 

Co-morbidity of mental disorders with alcohol and other drug abuse, Results from the Epidemiological Catchment Area (ECA) study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 264, 2511–2518. Common Addictions Associated with Co-occurring Disorders Dual Diagnosis occurs in individuals suffering from a wide range of substance addictions. The following addictions may be likely to have a co-occurring disorder:

  • Alcoholism
  • Cocaine Addiction
  • Club Drug Addiction
  • Crystal Meth Addiction
  • Heroin Addiction
  • Methadone Addiction
  • Prescription Medication Addiction
  • Eating Disorders

Common mood and personality disorders associated with dual diagnosis individuals with a co-occurring disorder can have any number of mood or personality disorders. The most common mood and personality disorders associated with addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bi-polar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Anxiety Disorder