Substance Abuse (or Substance Use Disorder) is an inability to control one’s use of any of a variety of substances but, typically, we focus on:
- alcohol addiction or alcoholism
- prescription medication addiction
- illicit drugs and opiate addiction
Substance Abuse is considered a mental disorder. If left untreated, this addictive behavior can have long-term effects on the person’s physiology. The most common noticeable changes occur in the person’s brain and behavior. This addiction has symptoms that can range from moderate to severe. The most severe form of this Disorder is “addiction”.
Research indicates that roughly 50% of those diagnosed with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) during their lifetime will also experience a simultaneous mental disorder. The same percentage of individuals who experience a mental disorder also indicate for a SUD. These disorders range from anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and others such as schizophrenia.
While these two conditions often co-occur, there is no proven causality from one to the other. Explanations vary but there is research suggesting that these co-occur because of factors such as:
• Genetics and environmental factors that can cause genetic changes (epigenetics)
• Mental disorders can exacerbate SUDs
• SUDs can accelerate Mental disorders
At Vero Beach Recovery Center we take a Holistic approach and match each patient with the appropriate treatment plan. Through our Intensive Outpatient Program, we address both the immediate concern (typically the addiction) as well as the potential co-occurring mental health disorder treating the “whole” patient and not just one aspect of why they need help.
By taking this patient-treatment matching approach, we feel we will improve the likelihood of the patient’s long-term recovery. Providing the patient with the tools and the coping mechanisms will greatly enhance their ability to Get and Stay Sober.