Alcoholism (or Alcohol Use Disorder or Alcohol Addiction) is the inability to control one’s alcohol intake even when negative consequences have occurred or are imminent. Alcoholism is considered a mental disorder that has severe long-term effects on a person’s body, brain and behavior. The abuse is a symptom that can range from moderate to severe with “addiction” being the most severe form.
There are many methods of treatment available for treating alcoholism. However, treatment may not be a simple journey. Vero Beach Recovery Center recognizes that there is a significantly high percentage of Co-Occurring Disorders with Alcoholism. A Co-Occurring Disorder is the existence of a psychiatric disorder along with an addiction. This is also sometimes referred to as “Dual Diagnosis”. Alcoholism tends to be one of the most common addictions found to have a Co-Occurring psychiatric disorder:
In a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA found that 21.5 million adults in the United States have a Substance Use Disorder. SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that 8.4 million adults in the United States have a Co-occurring Psychiatric Disorder.
Co-Occurring Disorders present a challenge for providers because they must be able to differentiate between primary mental disorders and symptoms caused by Substance Abuse, or the combination, in order to provide the most effective treatment.
Another issue is that symptoms of co-existing mental disorders may be interpreted as poor recovery from the addiction. The coexistence of the Addiction with the Psychiatric Disorder is a “chicken and egg” because it is difficult to discern if the Addiction is caused by the Psychiatric Disorder or the Psychiatric Disorder is a “Substance-Induced Mental Disorder”. For example, there is a high prevalence of alcohol use with:
- Lifetime prevalence of alcohol and cannabis use disorders in Bipolar Disorder
- 42% with alcohol use disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
- Epidemiological studies suggest 50% of veterans diagnosed with PTSD also have a co-occurring substance use disorder
At Vero Beach Recovery Center, our focus is on evidence-based treatment of the “whole patient”. The priority of the mental health treatment is placed on parity with the addiction. This is critical because the long-term implications and results are improved if you treat the cause and not just the symptoms of most diseases.