When a child is struggling with an eating disorder, mental health condition or an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s easy to focus your attention on the most glaring problem. More often than not, however, these serious illnesses are accompanied by one or several co-occurring conditions. Treating one illness without identifying and treating the co-occurring conditions is a bit like treating the symptoms of an infection without addressing the underlying cause. You might feel better in the short term, but eventually your symptoms will return.
In this post, you’ll learn why choosing a dual-diagnosis treatment center that addresses co-occurring conditions can help ensure a longer lasting recovery for your son or daughter. Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Co-Occurring Condition or Disorder?
Sometimes called a “dual disorder” or a “dual diagnosis,” a person with co-occurring conditions has two or more simultaneous mental illnesses. Co-occurring conditions can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms of one illness often overlap with the symptoms of another illness. The best dual diagnosis treatment centers are trained to identify and address co-occurring disorders through integrated treatment plans.
How are Co-Occurring Conditions Treated?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends an integrated treatment approach to caring for children with co-occurring disorders. Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders occurs when a child receives simultaneous care for mental illness and substance use from the same team of caregivers.
Are Co-Occurring Disorders Common?
According to SAMHSA, 8.9 million Americans live with a co-occurring disorder. Of this group, only 7.5% receive professional treatment in a rehabilitation program of any kind, let alone a program that specializes in dual diagnosis and integrated treatment.
Make Sure to Ask About Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders
While all rehabilitation centers for children should be able to identify and treat co-occurring disorders, the reality is that many of them can’t, or don’t. As you consider your options, make sure to ask every rehab center about its procedure for managing co-occurring disorders. Listen for words like “holistic” and “comprehensive” and then ask them to explain exactly what they mean by those terms. If the explanation you receive sounds something like what you’ve just learned, that’s a good sign. And if not, keep looking; there are many options out there.
Quick Tip for Choosing an Adolescent Rehab Center
Look for the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Excellence. This award is an internationally-recognized symbol of quality in health care. Organizations that have earned the Gold Seal have proven their commitment to top quality patient care and maintain a willingness to be measured against the highest standards of performance.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Near You
With two locations in California and one in Illinois, Adolescent Growth is proud to offer comprehensive treatment for eating disorders, mental illnesses and addiction. Learn more about our treatment services, or call 888-948-9998 to speak with an admissions specialist about your child. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form and we’ll call you back at the time of your choosing.