Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment: The Top 5 Ways This Condition Can Affect You

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If you are searching for co-occurring disorder treatment in Los Angeles for yourself or a loved one, it is important to be educated on co-occurring disorders and the way they affect an individual. Co-occurring disorders, also commonly referred to as comorbidity or dual diagnosis, can have a major effect on an individual’s overall health, influencing their physical, mental, and social condition.

Continue reading to learn more about co-occurring disorders, the signs of this condition, how it can affect an individual, and the most effective forms of treatment.

Co-occurring disorders can have a considerable influence on a person’s life, influencing their physical, emotional, and social health.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

A co-occurring disorder refers to when someone has two or more psychological health or substance use disorders at once. These conditions can range from depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia to alcohol or drug addiction. These illnesses can interact and take a toll on a person’s physical, emotional, and interpersonal health. It is essential to recognize that people with comorbidity need tailored treatment that focuses on both disorders at the same time, as dealing with just one of the problems will not be enough to help the individual.

co-occurring disorder treatment

Does Addiction or Mental Illness Develop First?

Establishing which of the two, substance use disorder or mental illness, developed first is usually complicated as both can be attributed to a combination of genetics, environment, and psychological issues. In some cases, a person may already have an existing mental health issue that leads them to take drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, resulting in addiction. On the other hand, there are also cases when addiction is the first to appear, which can then cause the emergence of mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety.

It is also possible for an addiction and a mental health disorder to develop at the same time, as the signs and actions of one disorder can aggravate the other. For instance, someone suffering from addiction may experience high levels of stress and emotional distress, which can result in the emergence of mental health concerns. Equally, an individual with a mental health disorder may be more susceptible to developing an addiction due to the emotional and mental discomfort that their condition brings about.

Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

It is possible to recognize co-occurring disorders via certain indicators, which may differ depending on the particular conditions, but some of the universal symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Feelings of helplessness or distress
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Indecisiveness
  • Change in appetite or sleeping habits
  • Increased irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased anxiety
  • Intense mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Legal and financial issues

It is essential to keep in mind that the symptoms mentioned could also be indicative of other medical issues, so it is important to consult a specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Additionally, some individuals may not display any signs at all, so having an evaluation by a professional is necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders

Although co-occurring disorders are not limited to specific combinations, there are several common co-existing conditions. They include the following:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are frequent conditions that arise alongside each other. PTSD is a dangerous type of fear that can emerge after a person has gone through or seen a difficult experience. Substance abuse is a practice of ingesting drugs or alcohol that can bring about physical and mental issues. These afflictions often happen together since individuals may use substances to manage the signs of PTSD.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are among the most frequently observed co-existing conditions. Despondency is usually identified by sentiments of sorrowfulness, despondency, and an absence of enthusiasm for activities, while nervousness is usually identified by feelings of worry, apprehension, and uneasiness. When these two disorders manifest concurrently, they can form a destructive loop wherein uneasiness intensifies depression, and depression intensifies uneasiness.

Bipolar Disorder and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

People who have bipolar disorder may find themselves also suffering from substance abuse. This mental health condition is known for its alternating phases of mania and sadness, and those with it may attempt to use drugs or alcohol to deal with their symptoms. Unfortunately, this kind of coping mechanism can just make the symptoms worse and create a vicious cycle of substance abuse.

Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Schizophrenia and addiction can simultaneously exist in individuals. Schizophrenia is a severe psychological condition signified by illusions, unrealistic beliefs, and disorganized thought process. People afflicted with schizophrenia may start using drugs or alcohol in order to cope with the difficulties of their mental health condition, but this can make the symptoms of the disorder even worse and cause a continuous cycle of substance abuse.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Depression

People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be more likely to experience depression because of the difficulties they have with controlling their symptoms, which are recognized as inattention, lack of impulse control, and overactivity. Depression, on the other hand, is characterized by feelings of sadness, powerlessness, and a lack of enthusiasm for activities. Both of these conditions can appear simultaneously.

The Top 5 Ways Co-Occurring Disorders Can Affect You

Co-occurring disorders can have a serious impact on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health. If left untreated, co-occurring disorders can affect every aspect of a person’s life and have a long-term negative impact. It is important to recognize the warning signs of co-occurring disorders and take steps toward treatment to minimize the impact it can have on an individual’s life. The following are the top 5 ways in which co-occurring disorders can affect an individual:

Heightens Symptoms

Increased symptoms can be overwhelming and can greatly impede an individual’s ability to cope with daily life. It is important to recognize the signs of increased symptoms and seek help from a medical professional. If left unmanaged, these increased symptoms can lead to reduced quality of life, resulting in a decrease in physical and mental well-being.

Fractures Relationships

As a result of the symptoms of co-occurring disorders, individuals may find it especially difficult to maintain relationships with family and friends. This could be due to the difficulty they have in communicating and understanding others, or feeling uncomfortable in the presence of those they care about. The inability to maintain healthy connections with loved ones can lead to feelings of guilt and isolation that can further compound their mental health issues

Impacts Employability

The difficulty of holding a job can be greatly exacerbated by co-occurring disorders. Many people with these conditions may find it difficult to concentrate and complete tasks. This can lead to frustration and ultimately, an inability to maintain a job.

Physical Health is Neglected

The difficulty in managing physical health caused by the symptoms of co-occurring disorders can have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being. It can lead to difficulties with self-care, such as keeping on top of personal hygiene and make it hard for an individual to keep up with medical appointments.

Creates Difficulty in Getting Help

The difficulty in accessing the appropriate treatment for co-occurring disorders can be attributed to the fact that each disorder has its own set of symptoms, causes and treatment needs. This often leads to an individual not receiving the adequate level of care needed to properly address their condition(s). Furthermore, this can cause a delay in recovery and may prevent individuals from receiving the help they need.

Are Co-Occurring Disorders Common?

Yes. Studies indicate that approximately half of those who suffer from mental health issues also have a problem with substance abuse, while roughly one-fifth of people with a substance abuse issue also have a mental health concern. Moreover, it is not uncommon for individuals with co-occurring conditions to have additional physical health issues that can make treatment more complex.

Why Is Integrated Treatment Important in Treating Co-Occurring Disorders?

It is essential to provide comprehensive treatment when managing co-occurring disorders, as this approach takes into consideration both the mental health issue and the substance use disorder. This is essential because these two conditions frequently interact in a way that can make it hard to treat one without confronting the other.

For treating co-occurring conditions, it is necessary to recognize the source of both issues, as well as to deliver assistance for the management of the symptoms and for maintaining sobriety. Integrated treatments usually include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other evidence-based practices.

Furthermore, integrated treatment concentrates on the overall person, taking into consideration their physical and emotional health, the surroundings they are living in, and the social elements that could be adding to their issues. This can help to enhance general well-being results, stop backslide, and improve the quality of life for the person.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles

If you or someone close to you is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, it’s critical that you get assistance quickly. Launch Centers in Los Angeles is dedicated to helping individuals who are struggling with addiction and mental illness by giving them the resources to build a new life and reach their full potential.

Our team of experts can guide you on your path to healing and reaching your goals with our unique program that includes career and educational guidance, healthcare, and extensive therapy to ensure your recovery is successful and you can live an abstinent lifestyle.

If you need help and want to learn more about the different services and treatments we provide, contact a specialist from Launch Centers straight away. We are here to support you throughout the process. Call us today.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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