Because diagnosing co-occurring disorders can be difficult, the success rates vary based upon the individual and the mental illness he or she suffers from. There are a variety of mental health issues that any one person can experience. These range from mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and panic disorders to personality disorders like schizophrenia. Paired with the multitude of illicit substances that one could be addicted to, the success rates for treatment can be hard to pin down.
How Can Treatment Success Be Measured?
Behavioral health, in and of itself, is more of a qualitative science that measurable based on observable behaviors and rates of development. In such, finding hard-hitting data that adequately identifies success among treatment methods can be difficult to determine. Despite this, studies have been conducted that help us to better understand the efficacy of treatment options available.
A 2005 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that approximately 8.5 percent of those suffering from co-occurring disorders actually seek treatment. While that be a small margin, the more people who seek help for comorbidity, the more qualified professionals can gather data regarding success.
What we do know is that success can be measured in part by the behaviors exhibited by the individual with a Dual Diagnosis and by the length of abstinence. Ease of depressive or anxious symptoms, increased positive behavior and autonomy among the individual, and prolonged abstinence from substances can count as some of the factors that determine success in treatment.
Studies That Show Effectiveness in Treatment
The Medical University of South Carolina conducted a survey among depressive alcoholics undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat their co-occurring disorders. Noted during the first two weeks of abstinence, the study reported a 30-to-50-percent decrease in depressive symptoms starting from the first day of abstinence. After three- and six-month follow-up visits, those individuals showed significantly lower instances of depressive and alcoholic symptoms after using CBT and alcoholic substance abuse treatment.
Other studies like one from the University of California reported that CBT and combined integrated treatments show positive effects on those individuals with panic and mood disorders. The results found that structured CBT implementation is especially effective for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression among these people. Interestingly, CBT also appeared to reduce the prevalence of “secondary” comorbidity. Meaning, the treatment not only helped to ease the primary symptoms of either mental illness, but also symptoms of others as well. Conclusions of the study speculated that CBT may serve to reduce the intensity of many emotions, not just the panic or anxiety associated with the mental illness.
What Does This Mean for You or Your Loved One?
Studies like those above show that adequate treatments for co-occurring disorders are on the rise and yielding more tangible results. When treatment is combined with a strong support group of friends and family, as well as a commitment to abstain from substances, the treatments can prove to be effective and sustainable.
At The Oaks at La Paloma, we are committed to providing the utmost in quality services for you or your loved one. Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to manage but not impossible to treat. With a dedicated staff, appropriate therapies, and a commitment to positive and healthy well-being, you are in good hands here at The Oaks at La Paloma. Call us today and start the road to recovery.