Many people first come into treatment solely seeking relief from the consequences caused by their addiction. However, through the course of treatment it often comes to light that there are other factors that lead to the using behaviors in the first place. Recovery becomes so much more than just the ability to put down the drink or drug of choice. While addiction may be highly linked to biological or genetic factors, there is no uncertainty that those who suffer from addiction also suffer from underlying causes and conditions that can create or intensify the substance abuse disorder.
One of the primary underlying conditions uncovered upon seeking treatment is a mental health diagnosis. Some clients may come in with no previous identification or understanding of any mental health. Some come in with a history of inaccurate diagnosis that has made it difficult for them to stabilize in past recovery attempts. Through continued weekly sessions with a therapist, a referral to a highly skilled psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, and medication education and management, it becomes possible to take the appropriate time with these clients to make accurate assessments and determine a correct course of treatment. Through addressing any underlying mental health diagnosis, recovery from the addiction then becomes possible.
Through my time working in mental health and the substance abuse field, I have seen many clients come in feeling hopeless, lost, and broken down from years of trying only to fail due to returning to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and cope. A proper treatment course for someone with co-occurring mental health diagnosis and substance abuse disorder is necessary for recovery.