Addiction rates and accidental drug overdoses have reached epidemic levels in the United States, resulting in a public health emergency declaration. Unintentional drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the country. Despite the prevalence of substance abuse problems, relatively few people decide to seek treatment. To further complicate matters, many people who suffer from addiction also suffer untreated or undiagnosed mental health conditions. This situation makes up the definition of comorbidity, the presence of two chronic illnesses. Comorbidity makes addiction treatment more difficult, but how can you find a dual diagnosis treatment center Utah residents actually use and trust?
What is Comorbidity?
Complicating issues, nearly half of all addicts have a co-occurring mental health disorder, with many others suffering from medical issues. Symptoms from medical or mental health problems play a role in addiction because they can cause you to use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate in order to alleviate symptoms. Unfortunately, having a mental health or medical problem in addition to addiction can complicate treatment and make you more likely to relapse. So, what is comorbidity? The comorbidity definition is when you have more than one mental health disorder or a medical problem either at the same time or one right after another. For example, if you have depression and a substance abuse problem, or diabetes and addiction, you have comorbid conditions. Addiction is considered a mental health disorder, as are conditions like anxiety and depression. Medical disorders are problems like arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. Some of the most common comorbid disorders that occur with addiction include:
Arthritis and joint disorders
Anxiety disorders and panic attacks
Trauma related conditions like PTSD
Endocrine diseases, like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and pituitary gland issues
Chronic pain, such as degenerative or herniated discs
Traumatic Brain Injuries and post-concussion syndrome
Certain medical conditions, especially thyroid disorders, can significantly alter your personality, cognition and increase your likelihood of using drugs or alcohol. Thyroid disorders can present similar symptoms as mental health conditions like bipolar disorder. Using drugs or alcohol can likewise worsen thyroid and endocrine issues.
When you are dealing with comorbid conditions and a substance abuse problem, finding a treatment center that provides dual diagnosis programs can greatly improve your recovery odds. Medical conditions and mental health disorders can create symptoms that may cause you to turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. Sometimes, you may not know you have a comorbid condition until you seek treatment for a substance abuse problem. Drugs and alcohol can prevent doctors from identifying mental health and medical conditions. Abusing drugs and alcohol can also cause mental and medical disorders, such as psychosis, liver disease, and cognitive impairments. If you are struggling with addiction and comorbid condition, here are a few treatments you may want to consider:
Taking the First Step Towards Recovery at Acqua Recovery
Now that you have a definition of comorbidity and how it impacts addiction treatment, you or a loved one may be ready to take the first step towards recovery: asking for help. Acqua Recovery, a leading Utah addiction rehab center, is here to help you find the path to recovery. Call us today at 866.830.4628 to find out how our programs can help you beat addiction.