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Co-Occurring Disorders: What You Need to Know

Co-Occurring Disorders

Increase Your Chances for a Lasting Recovery

Upon its inception in 1989, Creative Care became the first entity in Southern California to uncover, identify, and treat the underlying mental health issues and trauma while simultaneously treating addiction. While other mental health professionals were treating substance use disorders and other mental health conditions as separate entities, we understood that these conditions frequently intertwine. In fact, they often spring from the same source. What appears to be problematic substance use is often an attempt to self-medicate an untreated underlying mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. When these issues occur in tandem – that is, a substance use disorder and another mental health condition – we call them “co-occurring disorders” or a “dual diagnosis.” Being informed about these conditions and connecting with a treatment facility that specializes in them can dramatically increase a person’s chances for a sustained recovery.

Factors in the Development of Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders do not spring from a vacuum. Genetics are a major factor in the development of substance use disorders and other mental health conditions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies suggest that as much as half of a person’s risk for becoming addicted to a substance depends upon their genetic makeup. Similarly, Stanford Medicine states that the heritability of major depressive disorder is approximately 40-50%. However, genetics are only part of the equation. Adverse childhood experiences such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or a dysfunctional household can put an individual at increased risk of mental health and substance abuse issues later in life. So, too, can severe or chronic life stress. Just as substance use and other mental health disorders can mask one another, these genetic and environmental factors can overlap. This makes a holistic, or “whole-person” approach essential for success.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders at Creative Care

Upon arrival at Creative Care, our licensed and certified staff evaluates all patients for co-occurring disorders during admission. We then craft an individualized plan designed to treat the whole person, as a person. While each treatment plan is personalized, clients can expect to have three hour-long individual sessions with their primary therapist per week. They can also expect one or more with their secondary counselor during that time. Dependent upon their treatment plan, clients will also meet with our psychiatrist up to three times per week.

Additional services may include:

  • Medications
  • Family or couples therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Nutrition group
  • Equine group
  • Yoga and other relaxation therapy

With over 30 years of experience treating co-occurring conditions, Creative Care is an oasis for individuals who need the extra support, accountability, and direction to heal. If you or someone you love is struggling with co-occurring disorders, please consider giving Creative Care a call. Begin your journey to recovery today.