As you look for the right addiction treatment for your teen, you may run across the term “comorbidity.” But what does this mean? How does it influence the type of treatment your teen needs? Comorbidity is another term for the “co-occurring conditions” of addiction and mental illness. This means the addiction started with mental problems like depression, anxiety, PTSD or OCD. It could also mean the mental problems started after your teen began struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Which condition comes first doesn’t matter; however, your teen needs treatment for both at the same time. Treating one and not the other is a sure path to relapse.
About the Comorbidity of Addiction and Mental Illness
Addiction and mental illness often go hand-in-hand. Many people drink or abuse drugs as self-medication to deal with symptoms of mental illness. However, this dangerous combination results in higher statistics of addiction, overdose, and suicide. Addiction itself is mental illness. Alcohol and drug dependence can eventually change your teen’s brain chemistry and function. Addiction also changes their wants and needs, leading to new priorities of obtaining and using their substances. Your teen soon loses impulse control, which is a clear mark of mental illness.
Why Do Comorbid Conditions Occur?
Addiction does not necessarily cause mental illness. Nor does mental illness cause addiction. But the two conditions commonly occur together. The symptoms of these problems also mimic each other, making clear diagnosis difficult in many cases. Risk factors shared by these conditions include genetics, family history, environmental triggers or cues, and biology. Both conditions also frequently begin in teen years.
Treatment for Comorbid Conditions
For your teen’s comorbid conditions, you need help from a dual diagnosis treatment program. This type of program treats both conditions at once. This gives your teen a real chance for lasting recovery and a brighter future. If you do not know whether your teen suffers from co-occurring conditions, seek the help of a dual diagnosis program. Experts often struggle to identify the two conditions until a teen goes through detox. Because similar symptoms occur in addiction and mental illness, the lines often blur between the two. Treatment for dual diagnosis conditions includes:
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma treatment
- Educational program
- Multiple levels of rehab treatment
- Holistic and outdoor therapies
Your teen needs highly individualized treatment for a dual diagnosis disorder. Whether they need teenage depression treatment or help for any of a range of mental problems, that help exists. You simply need to reach out for help for your teen to have a bright future once again. In Woodland Hills, California, Destinations for Teens provides the dual diagnosis help your teen needs. Call Destinations for Teens now at 877-466-0620 for information about available programs.