Co-occurring disorder treatment can be complex and a frightening prospect either for those seeking it for themselves or for their loved ones. Many may even find themselves being turned away and falling between the cracks as their mental illness or addiction excludes them from treatment. Clinic Les Alpes understands the complicated nature of seeking help for such a life-limiting diagnosis, and stands as a beacon of hope for those seeking a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach. With a team of experts in-house 24/7, we hope to stand beside you as you start your recovery journey towards the life you’ve always hoped for yourself.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
‘Co-occurring disorders’ (COD) is a term used by medical and mental health professionals to refer to the existence of more than one diagnosis in an individual person. This most often refers to when someone is suffering from at least one addiction as well as at least one mental illness. They have also been referred to as co-existing disorders, dual disorders, comorbidities, or concurrent disorders.
Some of the most common co-occurring disorders that are associated with substance use disorder include:
Part of the difficulty in treatment for co-occurring disorders is that there can be a ‘chicken and the egg’ situation regarding a mental illness and addiction. A mental illness may predate the addiction, and the addiction became used as a coping strategy. Alternatively, the addiction may have existed long before the mental illness and the mental illness developed as a consequence of the dependency.
What is clear though, is that often those who suffer from co-occurring disorders often ‘slip through the cracks’. Addiction clinics will often turn away those with severe mental health concerns, and mental health clinics will often refuse to treat those with addictions until they are abstinent. This means that there are very few places people with co-occurring disorders can turn to who are able to, and willing to, treat both disorders at the same time.
Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders
It is crucial that when entering treatment, both co-occurring disorders be addressed and adequately treated. Because each disorder invariably worsens the condition of the other, the absence of one is not a guarantee of recovery. Someone addicted to alcohol may ‘dry out’, but if the root cause of their addiction, their depression, is not addressed, their chance of relapse is significantly higher and their road to recovery will be infinitely harder.
The ability to adequately treat a mental illness concurrently with treatment for an addiction requires an extremely experienced multidisciplinary team who are able to not only review and manage medication, but also deliver meaningful therapeutic interventions. In-patient treatment is typically recommended to jump-start recovery, as this provides all required services under one roof, and provides the patient with a sense of safety and consistency.
In addition to the initial treatment, patients will need to be guided in creating a relapse prevention plan, and an aftercare plan. A relapse prevention plan is created in collaboration with their lead therapist, who will support them in identifying triggers, coping strategies, and a joint crisis plan should they experience a relapse. An aftercare plan involves referrals and ongoing medical and therapeutic interventions with a range of experienced specialists so that once the individual leaves the inpatient setting, they continue to receive the care and support they need to live their best life.
Why Choose Clinic Les Alpes For Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment?
Clinic Les Alpes provides all of the above and more. A fully licensed psychiatric clinic, and staffed with an international team of experts, we are able to provide a truly holistic healing experience to those seeking to start their road to recovery. Patients and their loved ones can rest easy knowing that their full spectrum of needs can be cared for in the safety and complete privacy of our clinic.
Located in the serene mountains overlooking meadows and Lake Geneva, nature not only serves as a stunning background for recovery, but also is integrated into your treatment as part of the recovery journey. In addition to 24/7 medicalised care, and daily therapies, our service also offers complementary therapies and excursions to augment your healing process. These include nature experiences, massage therapies, ayurvedic medicine, meditations, fitness and coaching, acupuncture, art therapy, and many more.
These therapies as well as traditional medical and therapeutic interventions are all delivered as part of an individualised treatment plan, created in collaboration with the patient. This not only enables a seamless service between our departments, but also empowers the patient to take an active role in their treatment. These plans serve as a basis for a personalised, holistic treatment journey that aims to improve quality of life for the patient and their loved ones.
Each team member is deeply committed to aiding individuals in their journey towards healing and self-discovery, enabling them to embrace the highest possible quality of life. Our team not only possesses exceptional skill in treating co-occurring disorders, but also exemplifies Clinic Les Alpes' values and standards by approaching every patient with kindness, compassion, and respect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have to take medication if I come in?
All patients undergo a thorough assessment with our team of psychiatrists in order to examine and review their current medication. Medications may be prescribed or non-prescribed in order to manage symptoms of both disorders, but their use is carefully monitored and integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan.
Ultimately though, the choice to take medication or not is up to the individual patient. Clinic Les Alpes is a 100% voluntary clinic, and as such, patients are never medicated or treated against their will.
How common are co-occurring disorders?
Co-occurring disorders are relatively common among those suffering from substance use disorder, more commonly referred to as addiction. Some studies indicate that up to 50% of those suffering from an addiction will also suffer from another mental health disorder. However, specific statistics can vary based on the type of substance use disorder and the particular mental health condition involved. This extremely high prevalence indicates that there is a crucial need for integrated treatment clinics such as Clinic Les Alpes.
How do people develop co-occurring disorders?
As discussed above, it can be difficult to identify the causes for co-occurring disorders without professional guidance by someone who is well experienced in treating co-occurring disorders. However several risk factors may contribute to making someone more vulnerable to developing them.
This includes, but is not limited to: genetic predisposition, traumatic experiences, chronic stress, early exposure to substances, neurobiological factors, environmental factors, lack of health promoting coping skills, and lack of adequate social support.