How are OCD and Drug Addiction Related

When you struggle with a mental health condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and experience the symptoms of drug addiction, it is referred to as a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. Statistically, dual diagnosis conditions happen more often than many people realize. Some data indicates as many as 50% of those who seek help for a mental health condition also struggle with a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, current statistics on the incidents (or rate of occurrence) of obsessive-compulsive disorder are difficult to find. Although some information is available, much of it is outdated and not based on current research. It is believed as many as one out of every 40 adults in the United States meet the diagnostic criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. Additionally, as many as 40% of those also struggle with a substance use disorder

 

What is OCD? 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the DSM defines obsessive-compulsive disorder as a mental illness characterized by overwhelming and unwanted thoughts and fears. These thoughts and fears are referred to as obsessions. The second characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder is irrational urges to do specific things or act out specific behaviors. This is referred to as compulsions. When someone struggles with OCD, the emotional or psychological challenges they face far exceed the traditional viewpoints held by many in society. 

 

It is not uncommon to hear someone refer to another individual as “OCD” or that they have “OCD.” The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder are highly disruptive and can inhibit one’s ability to function as a part of day-to-day society. They will feel the overwhelming urge to repeatedly act out these habits or rituals despite (in most cases) knowing their actions are undesirable and have no beneficial or healthy purpose. Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder understand their thoughts and behaviors are illogical; however, they cannot stop performing them.

 

How Are OCD and Drug Addiction Related?

Although it is challenging to clarify specific prevalence rates for obsessive-compulsive disorder in the United States, general statistics suggest it is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States. When someone struggles with OCD, it can lead to emotional and psychological struggles that are difficult to manage without the help of a comprehensive therapy program. Additionally, when someone struggles with a mental health condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is not uncommon to turn to drugs or alcohol to manage or “self-medicate” their symptoms.

 

Unfortunately, this method of reducing the intensity or severity of symptoms only provides a limited period of relief before symptoms return. Depending on the substance or substance used, this relief may only last for a matter of minutes. It is the desire to continue feeling relief from obsessions or compulsions that leads to repeated use whenever obsessions (intrusive or unwanted thoughts) occur. Without treatment, continued use of drugs and alcohol as a means of symptom management will lead to tolerance, dependency, and potentially life-threatening addiction.

 

How To Get Help With OCD and Drug Addiction Today

If you are one of the many who struggle with a substance use disorder and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is vital to seek help at a treatment center skilled in dual diagnosis treatment. As part of a dual diagnosis treatment program at our luxury treatment center in Malibu, the staff at Rise in Malibu will work with you to design a comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment program that can help you learn to safely and successfully manage the symptoms of both conditions. If you are ready to put struggles with addiction in the past while learning safer and healthier ways to manage symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, contact us at Rise in Malibu today.

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