How Can Men with Co-Occurring Disorders Stay Sober?

Mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, dementia, and others are more common than people think. What people do not realize is that many times this coincides with a substance use disorder. In order to treat both conditions, an integrated approach should be taken which may involve a team of counselors, case managers, psychiatrists and therapists. It is a complex array of challenges.

Dual Diagnoses

Concurrently, having both a mental disorder and substance use disorder is not unusual. The causality behind the onset of each condition is not always clear. This may be present before a person becomes addicted to substances and the addiction may trigger the onset of a mental health disorder that exacerbates the presentation. A substance use disorder is a complex disease characterized by ongoing, compulsive use of drugs or alcohol in spite of harmful personal, social, or medical consequences. People who struggle with addiction are thought to experience changes in the brain which make it hard to stop using drugs and also shift things in such a way that mental health disorders are more commonplace.

Treatment Challenges

When a person wrestles with co-occurring disorders, they have a higher relapse rate. This is due, in part, to the fact that mental health and substance use treatment systems are not always integrated. This makes it hard for a person to navigate being treated for and recovering from both conditions. More dual diagnosis services are created to help bridge the gap and serve people with both disorders. A successful recovery means a person learns to manage both illnesses to have a more meaningful life. The most effective way to offer treatment is to incorporate these elements:

  • Build a trusting relationship
  • Help the person become motivated toward recovery
  • Engage in active treatment
  • Encourage them to develop strategies for aftercare or relapse prevention through therapy

The stages are not linear, so it is important therapists understand how to adapt these to a person’s clinical care plan. This type of treatment approach ensures the needs of each person are considered and addressed appropriately and both mental health and substance abuse issues are managed appropriately.

Staying Sober

Some of the treatment approaches a person can follow to stay sober after treatment include building trusting relationships. They help stay connected to the process and work towards sober living. Mental health conditions are a huge part of recovery and many struggle in this arena. Using motivational interventions, people who are helping those with mental health disorders help them identify goals for stopping their drug use. When they feel motivated, they are more likely to stay in treatment. Another thing is to stay connected to community and treatment even after rehab. Couples counseling, family therapy, all of these are important. Cognitive behavioral treatment is highly effective in treating dual diagnosis individuals. This may take a long view to see how it will have impact before a person is able to figure out what is going on and clear their mind enough to focus on their life goals. It is worth checking into a place that provides both at the same time so a person has the best opportunity to get sober.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.