The existence of both obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a substance abuse problem in a single patient is a common occurrence. One study on the subject, published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, found that about 27 percent of their participants – all of whom were diagnosed with OCD – met the criteria for having a co-occurring substance use disorder at some point in their lives.
The study also found that:
When multiple serious disorders like OCD and substance abuse co-occur in one person, the best choice is a treatment program that has the resources and experience to provide in-depth treatment for both disorders at the same time. Contact us today for more information.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that is defined by compulsive, repetitive behaviors and/or thoughts that intrude upon the person’s ability to function normally on a day-to-day basis. The person has no ability to control these compulsive behaviors or thoughts and even though he may recognize that they are not logical or necessary, he is unable to stop indulging in them without treatment.
Dependence upon any drug, including alcohol, is a medical disorder that is defined by a psychological and physical need for the drug on an ongoing basis. Patients diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder (SUD) often feel physically ill when they are without their drug of choice.
Withdrawal symptoms are part of the physical dependence, but the psychological dependence upon the drug, signified by cravings and the compulsive need to drink or get high despite the problems caused by that behavior, are arguably the most difficult to overcome.
When a patient struggles with the symptoms of both drug and alcohol abuse and obsessive-compulsive disorder, it can be difficult for everyone in the family. The addicted person may:
Common drugs of abuse among OCD patients include alcohol, sedatives and opiate drugs like painkillers or heroin, as many patients seek to self-medicate their anxiety with substances they believe will lower their stress levels.
Often, the existence of co-occurring disorders of obsessive-compulsive disorder and addiction go under-diagnosed, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. For this reason, it is often beneficial for your loved one to undergo a thorough evaluation when he begins treatment in order to diagnose any and all issues, including mental health disorders like OCD, prior to treatment. In this way, the treatment plan can be personalized to your family member’s needs, thus increasing their chances of a successful recovery.
Dual Diagnosis rehabilitation is the best way to proceed when both a mental health disorder and substance abuse are suspected.
Contact us today at the number above to learn more from our admissions coordinators.