MDD & Opiate Addiction: Co-Occurring Disorders and Drug Rehab

Co-Occurring Disorders

Those who struggle with mental health disorders, and substance use disorders are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders. People with co-occurring disorders have the best chances of achieving long-term sobriety when entering a dual diagnosis treatment center. Dual diagnosis treatment centers treat substance use disorders but also have integrated mental health treatment. Combining treatments can help those who are dealing with depression and other mental health illnesses.

Depression and Opiate Addiction

Depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is treatable. MDD requires a medical diagnosis, although depression tests online are gaining popularity. Online depression tests can often be a starting point for those wanting to seek help for their mental health disorders, but any diagnosis should come directly from a licensed medical professional. Even if a test is coming from a reputable website, professional help should always be sought for proper diagnosis, and care of any disorders. Depression is typically marked by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest, which is also a common feeling with those struggling with opiate addiction. MDD or clinical depression can lead to many behavioral and physical symptoms. Those suffering from both substance use disorders and MDD can often have trouble differentiating between what is from the drugs and alcohol, and what is from depression. Is the depression causing the drug and alcohol abuse, or is the drug and alcohol abuse causing the depression? When someone is in the depths of addiction, it often leads to depression.

Commonly abused drugs like opioids and opiates such as prescription drugs, or heroin have a bi-directional relationship. This relationship means that suffering from either depression or opiate addiction increases the risk of turning to opiates for comfort or becoming depressed from opiate use. Depression and opiate abuse are a vicious cycle that feeds into each other and often spiral out of control quickly if left untreated.

If someone is already struggling with depression and is now addicted to opioids, the depression can become exacerbated. Research has estimated that 48% of people dependent on opioids will also experience depression.

If you or a loved one are struggling with depression and opioid addiction, the addiction must be addressed first. Medical detox is often required to help soothe the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of opiates. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, sweating, extreme anxiety, restless legs, sleep problems, and intense cravings. Trying to combat these symptoms without the assistance of medical detox is possible. Unfortunately, many people don’t get through the full withdrawal if they aren’t in a detox setting due to the intense cravings associated with opiate addiction.

Treating Depression and Opiate Addiction Simultaneously

Finding a program that treats both addiction and mental health issues at the same time can be hard, but there are dual diagnosis drug rehabs that can cater to co-occurring disorders. Those suffering from both often need a higher, more intensive level of care like a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) GateHouse Treatment’s PHP program include group therapy, individual therapy, case management sessions, medical provider appointments, and 12-step meetings.

Group therapy during the PHP portion of our program allows those with dual diagnosis disorders to address problems in a group setting to get feedback from peers and are always run by a counselor, or therapist to help guide the conversation or activity. Those suffering from MMD and opiate addiction isolate and withdraw themselves from society. Group therapy is often one of the first steps to opening up to others and reintegrating into a controlled environment. 12-step meetings at the PHP level of care help in this area as well; it helps to submerse clients back into society slowly. Going back into the “real world” takes time and can bring up fears and concerns with clients who aren’t used to day-to-day activities at this point in their lives.

Case management in PHP helps clients to learn accountability, set a schedule, and address any outstanding or ongoing legal problems. When dealing with depression alone, being accountable for daily responsibilities can be a monumental task. When entering sobriety those skills often have to be learned again, case managers help clients to set goals that are achievable. Over time, case managers work with each client to establish and complete goals that are now achievable at different stages in their recovery.

Individual therapy sessions during PHP are crucial in treating depression and substance use disorders. Talk therapy is one of the best ways to address depression, and the private setting allows for a level of confidentiality that isn’t offered in group therapy. Individual therapy sessions can help clients treat the underlying factors of what is driving their opiate addiction. Individual therapy is essential for clients with co-occurring disorders. Individual therapy sessions can help clients identify what is caused by their mental illness like clinical depression, and what is caused by their addiction.

Medical provider appointments are imperative to ensure that if medication is required that clients are on the proper medication and dosage. A large problem in the field of mental health disorders is medication compliance. Medication compliance plays a vital role when treating co-occurring disorders in a PHP setting. Medications can reduce the symptoms of psychiatric disorders and allow clients to focus on therapy, 12-step meetings, and their day-to-day activities that are setting them up for long-term sobriety. Having access to a medical provider allows for any changes to be made that are adversely affecting a client, which can lead to better medication compliance. Not being compliant with medication when struggling with addiction and mental health illnesses can be narrowed down to a few causes.

  1. Medication-related side effects
  2. Adverse reactions between medication, or concerns of being over medicated
  3. Wanting to or returning to substance use. Once someone relapses on substances, they often stop taking their medication or are concerned about reactions between substances and the medications
  4. Feeling better – this can lead clients to believe they no longer need medication
  5. Lack of support about being on medication

Everyone at GateHouse Treatment from clinical staff, to case managers, are supportive of any path that a client must take to achieve sobriety and to live a happy and fulfilled life. Our comprehensive treatment approach is blended with a robust clinical approach to set everyone up for success. We offer individualized treatment plans that best suit what clients need.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

After PHP treatment has been completed, the next step is an intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment. While in GateHouse Treatment’s IOP Program, clients still offered group and individual therapy, case management, and medical provider appointments. The structure of their days is different. In our IOP program, we have a strong focus on medication management to help assist those in taking the next steps in their lives. Medication compliance and management is essential at this step of IOP for those with co-occurring disorders.

The stress of getting a job, getting deeper into their 12-step work, and dealing with life on lives terms can cause emotional distress in those who are newly sober. Case management also plays a significant role at this point in treatment to assist clients in reaching their next goals and moving further in their recovery.

GateHouse Treatment also offers a Family Program that allows the families of clients to receive help in dealing with the ripples of addiction and how it has affected their lives. Our Family Program will allow those with co-occurring disorders to discuss with their families where they are at now with both their mental health and sobriety. Our Family Program allows for the bedrock of relationships to be set and can begin to clear the air in a healthy and safe environment. The Family Program also allows for clients to set the tone for maintaining their mental health alongside sobriety. At the same time, this program allows family members to set boundaries surrounding both their mental health needs and substance use disorder.

The Next Steps of Treating Co-Occurring Disorders like Depression and Opiate Addiction

Recovery is possible from both depression and opiate addiction. At GateHouse Treatment, we provide the tools and push clients to achieve long-term sobriety. Drug rehab is only a part of our client’s lives, and after they leave, that is where their recovery truly begins and flourishes. Alumni programs help those who have left our dual diagnosis treatment center stay connected. Our alumni program is in place to prevent relapse while providing past clients and their families with the resources they need to stay on track.

After leaving our facility, ongoing concerns may need to be addressed, especially regarding medication needs for treating depression, sober living, or medication-assisted treatment needs we give clients resources. Our care and concern for our clients don’t stop when they leave our treatment center.

Coming to GateHouse for Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

If you or a loved one are struggling with clinical depression and opiate addiction, contact us today at 855-448-3588. We have an admissions team ready to speak to you at any time and answer any questions that you may have. At GateHouse Treatment, we understand both clinical depression and opiate addiction. You can heal, we can help.