Co-Occurring Disorders

Addiction And Co-Occurring Disorders

When a person enrolls in a treatment program for addiction, the counselors and therapists that make up the treatment team might spend a significant amount of time administering tests that measure memory skills, reaction times, stress responses and impulse control.

For people enrolled in care, this assessment process can seem tedious, and they may wonder what in the world they’re expected to prove with each answer they provide. After all, they may feel as though targeting the addiction is the primary goal, while talking about brain health seems somehow unimportant. In reality, this assessment is a vital part of the care an addiction treatment program can provide, as each little test measures a person’s mental health.

Deficiencies found here could impact the care a person receives, and ultimately dictate how easily the person might overcome a substance abuse problem.

Common Causes

A person with a substance abuse issue might easily qualify for a diagnosis of mental illness. People who use and abuse addictive substances tweak chemical levels inside the brain on a regular basis, and their moods might be erratic and changeable as a result. People like this might also have little control over their emotions, unless they have access to the substances they’re addicted to. It’s reasonable to suggest that these sorts of problems are similar to those experienced by people who have another type of mental illness. But when discussing the intersection of mental health and addiction, experts are typically discussing people who qualify for two diagnoses at the same time.


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