What is comorbidity in addiction? Simply stated, it is when a person has multiple illnesses or disorders...
What is comorbidity in addiction? Simply stated, it is when a person has multiple illnesses or disorders. Whether the illnesses start at the same time or not, if one is present at the same time as another, we use the term œcomorbidity to describe the situation. Each illness can have an effect on the other, and often the presence of more than one can make the proper diagnosis of either one difficult, if not impossible. To complicate things even more, a person may abuse drugs at the same time as suffering from mental illness. Not only is diagnosis more difficult, but making an accurate diagnosis is unlikely.
In order to make proper assessments, the first thing that must occur is to bring sobriety to the patient. So long as there are mind-altering substances in a person's system, no doctor can properly determine the true nature of a mental illness. Once they are sober for three to six weeks, a complete psychiatric evaluation can be performed with a reasonable level of certainty as to its legitimacy. Many people fail to consider that ANY medication (even meds for the mental illness) must be discontinued for the period of time stated above, or else you won't have a true picture. The only exception is if they were diagnosed when they were very young, before any substance abuse commenced, a level of reliance can be placed on the historical values assigned to the person.
When attempting to gain the sobriety needed to make a proper assessment of the mental state of affairs, it is best if the patient is in a residential rehab facility. In this manner, they will be observed, they will be accountable, and they will have the support of others aiming to find recovery. Most rehabs employ a 12 Step program, which means they will address recovery from a spiritual perspective, as well as a behavioral perspective. The importance of the dual approach to recovery is that it isn't enough to just stop; you need to seek resolution of the underlying issues that brought you to abuse substances in the first place.
Comorbidity in addiction isn't rare, and it isn't fun. But it's not unique, and it can be managed. It's up to you to take the first step. Good luck.
If you have any questions or concerns about finding the right drug rehab for you or your loved one, then please call A Center for Addiction Recovery”counselors are standing by for free consultation. And for any information regarding prescription drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or addiction recovery and treatment services, you may reach us at:
Center for Addiction Recovery “ Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-570-4562
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