Dealing with the Increasing Rates of Mental Illness and Addictions

By Jitender Sharma - March 24, 2018

If you look at any of the statistics regarding mental illness and addictions, you will find an alarming trend. Both addiction and mental illness are growing rapidly in the United States. On top of this growth rate, if you are diagnosed with a mental illness, there is a 50 percent chance that you will also develop an addiction. Due to social stigma of both disorders, it is rare that they are caught and treated at the same time. Many people seek treatment for one, never realizing that they are in need of treatment for both.

Unfortunately, finding both presents problems to someone who is suffering. Those who suffer from mental illness may not disclose their addiction and those who are suffering from addiction may not disclose their mental illness or even believe that they have either. This situation leaves discovering both disorders at the same time up to the healthcare provider.

One of the issues that prohibits those with dual diagnosis disorders from finding the treatment that they need is improper screening methods. Most of the current screening methods either screen for mental illness or addiction but rarely both at the same time. This along with lack of provider training, often results in one or the other problem being missed until it is too late. Those that are training in diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, may not be trained in the diagnosis and treatment of addiction. This creates a situation where the co-occurring disorder remains undiscovered for a long time if at all.

Both treatment for a mental illness and treatment for an addiction can be extremely cost prohibitive. You might find yourself going to a detox facility, a mental health facility, and an addiction treatment facility all at different locations at different times. Treating this whole spectrum can at the very least leave you over extended or in financial jeopardy.

Why is closing this gap so important to those with co-occurring disorders? The answer to that is simple. While the treatment gap exists, those with co-occurring disorders find themselves in constant need of treatment. As long as you are only treating half the problem there is an excellent chance that your treatment will fail.

Fortunately, there are integrated treatment facilities, like those found on, that can help you find the treatment that you need. These treatment facilities are specifically designed o head off some of the problems that you might experience. They offer viable and complete screening methods to locate and diagnosis the co-occurring disorders. They also offer providers who are specifically trained to recognize and treat both mental illness and addiction disorders.

This training gives them the unique ability to help those in vulnerable populations overcome their disorder. They can also help to reduce the stigma that mental health treatment and addiction treatment have.

An integrated treatment center can also provide treatment for those who are self-medicating for either disorder. The combined form of treatment defers some of the cost and provides funding for continuing and complete treatment programs.

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