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Co-Morbidity and Addiction: What Does it Mean?

If you have an addiction, you might have heard the term co-morbidity. This term is common when it comes to talking about addiction and addictive disorders. Since addiction is defined as a medical condition by most of the scientific community, it is not surprising that there are other illnesses that coincide with it. Co-morbidity is a term for such a relationship.

What is Co-Morbidity?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is two or possibly more disorders that a single person has. These disorders are sometimes concurrent or consecutive. They can also be caused by or the cause of the drug addiction. Many of these illnesses interact and make each other both more complex and more devastating.

How does it Relate to Addiction?


Bipolar disorder can lead to drug addiction.

Addiction is one of the consequences of as well as one of the co-morbid disorders often diagnosed. You find many disorders both cause and contribute to drug addiction. Most people who suffer from co-morbid disorders are treatable once both disorders are discovered.

What Disorders are Common with Addiction?

Many disorders occur with a drug addiction. Co-morbid disorders are seen as causes, results, and results of the withdrawal from addiction. Most drugs are notorious for causing depression and anxiety as a result of taking or coming off them. The disorders that usually cause an addiction are:

    Depression – an extremely common mental illness that causes sadness, hopelessness, and suicide. Anxiety – also a common illness that causes feeling of panic as well as fear and terror. Bipolar disorder – a combination of extreme highs and extreme lows where depression is the low and mania is the high. Schizophrenia – a disease commonly characterized by paranoia, extreme changes in mood, hallucinations, and delusions. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – in this condition a traumatic event triggers a continued psychological reaction.

People turn to drugs to self medicate for these conditions when their medications quit working, if the illness is unknown, or if they do not want it treated by a doctor.

How Counseling Addresses Mental Health and Substance Abuse Together

Why is it Important to Understand this Relationship?

It is important to understand the relationship in co-morbid disorders for treatment. If one disorder is treated and the other is not it, can lead to problems and relapse later on. If you understand how the two interact, it can help to treat both discover the cause of the illness and treat it.

Treatment consists of:

    detox from the drug of addiction, individual counseling, group counseling, community support, and other forms of therapy.

Most often the illnesses are either completely treatable or at least manageable to the point where you can function normally in society again. As research advances so does the treatment of co-morbid disorders.

How to Find Help

You can find help for the addiction and any underlying disorders by calling us at 1-800-895-1695. There are many well equipped treatment centers across the country, it can be hard to know which to choose. We can help you find the treatment and treatment center that is right for your addiction, disorder and lifestyle.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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