The Discovery House Blog

What is Integrated Addiction Treatment?

July 18, 2016 Addiction Education

Many people need integrated addiction treatment but they simply don’t know what it is or where to look for it. One of the problems with many drug rehabilitation centers is that they’re only focused on helping people recover from drug or alcohol abuse alone. However, many people who live with drug and alcohol addiction also struggle with mental illness. So, when they finally get to a drug addiction treatment, the addiction and the mental health issues are taken care of separately and each side is dealt with by different staff for both conditions – mental health and addiction.

The solution for this problem is to provide drug and alcohol addicts an integrated addiction treatment plan. This treatment is meant to be applied to people who have a substance abuse disorder and also suffer from mental health conditions. They are also frequently referred to as co-occurring conditions.

What is Integrated Addiction Treatment?

Key elements of an integrated addiction treatment program:

* Coordinated treatment for multiple disorders;
* No division between substance abuse and mental health treatments;
* All health professionals should collaborate in one setting;
* Bundled interventions

Drug and alcohol abuse and mental health disorders usually go hand-in-hand. Either disorder can be the first one to appear; however when one occurs the other one will occur as well as a result of the first.

It’s not unusual to see someone who’s dealing with depression or anxiety to start self-medicating. No one approves it and it’s not recommended but people feel so desperate that they need to do something. And as soon as they notice it, they are already addicted to the substance. It’s also not uncommon to see someone who has a drug and alcohol dependency to start suffering from a mental illness. They may have some predisposition to it but it simply occurs.

For either situation, these people need to be treated with an integrated addiction treatment program, like the one’s offered at The Discovery House.

What is Integrated Addiction Treatment?

Most people don’t even realize how both conditions are so deeply related. So, here are some facts:

* Around 50% of people who has a severe mental health disorder also has a substance abuse problem;

* Around 29% of people who are diagnosed with a mental illness abuse drugs or alcohol, compared with only 15% of the population who simply abuse drugs and alcohol.

* Only 7.4% of 8.9 million Americans who are affected by co-occurring disorders every single year, get the right treatment.

There are more than 8 studies done since the 90’s that have been consistently proving that integrated treatments are effective for treating co-occurring disorders. As an example, based on a study done about homeless adults in 1997, the improvements were demonstrated were:

* decreased hospitalization;
* more progress toward substance abuse recovery;
* fewer institutional days;
* improved functional status and quality of life;
* more time in stable housing;
* fewer arrests

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