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Individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) often struggle with other mental health conditions. These co-occurring disorders can make the recovery process more challenging, but it shouldn’t hinder people from seeking treatment. Many of these co-occurring disorders, like depression and anxiety, are common with SUD, but what other disorders are common with SUD? Are some conditions more common with SUD than others? What is the best course of treatment for SUD and these common co-occurring disorders? Let’s consider some of these questions below. 

West Coast Recovery Centers works toward helping individuals rediscover their lives through sustainable recovery. If untreated, addiction can cause several adverse consequences, and the longer you wait for treatment, the worse the results may be. Call us if you or a loved one is struggling with SUD and any of the common co-occurring disorders you’ll read about today. 

Understanding the Impact of SUD on Other Areas of Your Life

SUD is a complex mental disorder characterized by a person’s inability to control their consumption of drugs or alcohol. Though treatable, SUD can wreak havoc on a person’s life the longer it goes untreated. Furthermore, a person can become dependent on any number of symptoms, ranging from alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or inhalants, to name a few. 

SUD symptoms can vary depending on the type of substance someone is dependent on. Some of these symptoms of SUD may include: 

  • Unexplainable weight loss or gain 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Sleeping too much or too little 
  • Impaired coordination and cognitive function 
  • Experiencing paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions 
  • Extreme changes in mood and erratic behavior 
  • Withdrawing from friends and family and social isolation 
  • Problems at work, abruptly leaving a job, or being fired
  • Issues within interpersonal relationships or with family members 
  • Experiencing symptoms of other mental health conditions as a result of substance use 

You should consider treatment if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. However, our focus for today is the last bullet point: experiencing symptoms of other mental health conditions or co-occurring disorders. 

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes co-occurring disorders as the presence of two or more mental health conditions or SUD. Though many individuals with SUD can develop other mental health conditions, people with a mental illness can also develop SUD in an attempt to cope with their symptoms. Regardless of which comes first, treatment is critical for all conditions involved. 

If untreated, symptoms of SUD and co-occurring mental disorders can exacerbate each other. People find themselves in a vicious cycle. The reality is that you can’t treat SUD without addressing other mental health conditions. Another term for this phenomenon is a dual diagnosis, simply meaning you have substance use and a mental health disorder. So, what are some of the most common co-occurring disorders experienced by individuals with SUD? 

Common Co-Occurring Disorders Experienced With SUD

Of course, there’s no way to predict what kind of mental health condition someone will develop alongside SUD or if they even will develop any conditions. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to know about the potential conditions. Here are some of the most common co-occurring disorders experienced by individuals with SUD. 

Anxiety is a disorder that causes individuals to worry about a number of things. These worries aren’t temporary but rather severe, impairing someone’s ability to function daily. There are many anxiety disorders individuals with SUD can develop, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobia-related disorders. 

Depression, along with other mood disorders, is also common with SUD. It also impacts how a person feels, thinks, and manages daily activities. Symptoms will differ depending on the type of depression, but generally, people experience constant feelings of sadness, making it difficult to function day-to-day. 

Bipolar disorder is described by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as a condition that “causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.” There are three types of bipolar disorder, but all three cause changes in mood and energy that make the day-to-day tough to get through. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in people who’ve experienced intense trauma from going through a dangerous or distressing event. Many soldiers develop PTSD and use substances to cope with their symptoms. Thankfully, treatment is possible for both. 

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that impacts thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It’s described as causing people to “seem like they have lost touch with reality.” Symptoms make it hard to manage daily tasks, especially in combination with SUD. However, treatment can help people get their lives back. 

Consider Treatment for SUD and Co-Occurring Disorders Today

It may not seem like it while you’re in the thick of addiction, but treatment is available for a dual diagnosis. Dual-diagnosis treatments look different for each client as West Coast Recovery Centers. However, everyone has the opportunity to work with many clinical approaches, including DBT, CBT, group therapy, and substance abuse psychoeducation, to name a few.

Contact West Coast Recovery to begin your recovery journey today!  

Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) are at an increased risk of developing other mental health conditions. On the flip side, it’s not unheard of for individuals with mental health conditions to use substances to manage their symptoms, often leading to a SUD diagnosis. When someone experiences a substance use and mental health disorder, it’s called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are some of the most common co-occurring disorders people with SUD experience day-to-day. Thankfully, dual diagnosis treatment is not only possible but is critical for people to heal from all conditions involved with their SUD. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to start treatment today.