Is a Co-Occurring Disorder the Key Focus in an Alcohol Rehab Program?

Comorbidity or co-occurring disorders frequently exist in those dealing with alcohol addiction. With comorbidity, in addition to having substance use disorder, a person is dealing with one or more mental health issues, with each issue often exacerbating the other. For instance, someone with anxiety disorder that’s undiagnosed and untreated, may turn to alcohol to obtain relief. Over time, rather than alleviating anxiety, excess alcohol consumption will start to heighten it. For self-treating individuals, this can cause them to use increasing amounts of alcohol to address their ever-increasing anxiety.

This dangerous and self-perpetuating cycle can have grave consequences. It can also make it virtually impossible for people to get sober until all of their existing mental health issues are both identified and professionally managed. This makes co-occurring disorders a very strong focus in many alcohol rehab programs. However, given that alcohol addiction can have many underlying causes, it is rarely the key focus of care in general alcohol rehab centers. For patients seeking rehab services for comorbidity, there are a number of rehab programs that do maintain dual diagnosis treatment or treatment for co-occurring disorders as a top priority.

These facilities often have one or more medical professionals on staff who are capable of both officially diagnosing mental health issues and prescribing medications for treating them as needed. Alcohol rehab with a strong focus on co-occurring disorders can also include a broader range of therapies than many general rehab programs provide. Exposing patients with comorbidity to a vast range of stress management and mood balancing techniques can help them more effectively manage their mental health disorders, particularly when the goal is limiting or avoiding treatment with medication.

There Are Different Options In Alcohol Rehab For Meeting Different Needs

There are many different factors that can contribute to alcoholism. As such, alcohol rehab offers a diverse range of services and interventions for meeting an equally diverse range of needs. Some people have turned to alcohol as the result of traumatic life events. Absent of healthy ways for confronting and addressing the fear and pain that these events have created, they use alcohol to dim their discomfort. Others may have grown up in negative and unhealthy environments that undermined their self-confidence and left them with low self-esteem. For these individuals, drinking is a way to feel relaxed in social situations, and to boost their confidence ahead of important occasions or events.

Alcoholism can also be the result of in-home conditioning and genetic predisposition. If one or both of a person parents drank heavily, growing up to repeat these behaviors would not be surprising. Different attitudes, values, and beliefs can also open the door to alcohol addiction. For people who do not drink as the result of comorbidity, entering into programs that make treatment for co-occurring disorders the sole or primary focus is not going to be optimally beneficial.

Common Areas Of Focus In The Rehab Setting

To ensure lasting success, alcohol rehab often addresses factors such as living environments, relationships, life goals, and overall mental and physical health. They additionally stress the importance of finding and maintaining a sense of purpose. By helping people achieve direction, balance, and all-around well-being, rehab centers can set the stage for long-term recovery. They can also minimize the risk of relapse for patients post-treatment.

During alcohol addiction treatment, people spend their time working with therapists in a one-on-one setting to better understand their emotions, their triggers, and any other challenges that they’re likely to face after they’ve stop using. In group therapy settings, they can listen to stories and advice from like-minded individuals who share the same path, and they can additionally tell their own. This is the start of building good communication skills, learning the basics of boundary-setting, and discovering how to establish strong and meaningful relationships.

Emphasis placed on life-planning in both group and private therapy give people the chance to achieve stability, identify their resources, and avoid common triggers, pitfalls and other setbacks. Even for someone with comorbidity, treatment must take a very broad and all-encompassing approach in order to prevent relapse and promote long-term success. Notwithstanding this fact, it is important for people to look for needs-specific options in treatment before committing to rehab.

The best environment for you will depend upon your history of alcohol abuse, your family’s mental health history, the amount of alcohol you consume, the nature of the underlying causes of your addiction, and any of your prior attempts at recovery. Unfortunately, many of these are factors that people have a hard time determining and understanding on their own ahead of getting treatment. If you need assistance in choosing a treatment center or treatment philosophy that’s best in line with your unique needs, we can help. Get in touch with us now by calling 844-639-8371.

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