The Prevalence of Co-Occurring Disorders Essay When a counselor has a new client they are working with, the client has to be assessed. When being assessed the counselor has to determine what issues the client may have. Through being assessed, the counselor may come to realize the client has more than one issue which is called co-occurring disorders. At this point the client will have to be treated for more than one disorder to effectively overcome the problems they are facing. Within this paper one will locate the prevalence of co-occurring disorders, mental health and substance abuse or dependency. Services, U. D. (2005) states that substance abuse and mental disorders became associated in the late 70â€™s. Both substance abuse and mental disorder communities realized that the two were associated with not just depression but substance abuse as well. At that time, 50 to 75 percent of clients were reported to have co-occurring mental disorders and co-occurring substance abuse users were between 20 to 50 percent. Researchers have demonstrated that clients with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness disorders can be beneficial with treatment. Even if the clients have serious mental disorders (Services, U. D. , 2005). With the prevalence of co-occurring disorders, Services, U. D. (2005) states that effective treatment and services is needed to be readily available for those who are in need of help. Many treatment facilities are not ready to treat those who have more than one disorder which means that one disorder is treated, while another is left untreated. After which, the client can continue to have relapses with abuse because the other disorders were not treated. What was considered to not be surprising personally is that fifty-three percent of those with COD whose addictive behaviors with alcohol abuse or dependency also had mental disorders sometime during their life (Services, U. D. , 2005). Also 59 percent of the respondents who had lifetime mental disorders were illicit drug abusers, while 71 percent of those who used illicit drugs over their lifetime had alcohol abuse or dependence as well (Services, U. D. , 2005). This is found not to be surprising because so many people abuse drugs over a lifetime that once they have reached their personal level of high, they tend to switch out to another drug which they believe will fulfill the gap in the word â€œhighâ€ they are looking for. A statistical piece of information that was interesting is that how the number of mental disorders increases as the number of substance abuse disorders increases as well. Services, U. D. (2005) states the likelihood of mental disorders rises alongside with substance abuse dependencies. With the rise of both abuses at the same time, it complicates treatment for the mental disorder patients that have drug use however, multiple drugs is normal for those who are substance abusers (Services, U. D. , 2005). The reason this information is found to be interesting is because with the two disorders rising at the same level, it appears that the challenges will be harder and more co-occurring disorder patients are going to need help with their issues. As a counselor, one must be dually competent to treat these clients or have staff available to treat the clients who have co-occurring disorders to ensure an effective outcome. Differences and Similarities in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Systems One similarity of the two systems is that they both are defined by a combination of administrative leadership, regulatory oversight, and the funding. Another similarity is both systems have services that are organized into programs that treat individuals for the illness they are suffering from so the client can learn to have stability in their life. Ongoing treatment and rehabilitation is another service that both systems have available for the clients (Services, U. D. , 2005). One difference between the two systems is that the substance abuse treatment system treats substance use disorders. The services for the substance abuse treatment system are geared towards acute stabilization, active treatment, and engagement. The mental health service system treats individuals for mental health disorders. The services for the mental health service system are geared towards acute crisis intervention that is available for individuals who has been diagnosed with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). Another difference is the substance abuse treatment system is focused towards treating the client to become abstinence from illicit drug and or alcohol use. The mental health service system has case management, psychiatric rehabilitation services, and if needed services that will house the patient if they have been classified with having SPMI (Services, U.Â D. , 2005). With all said co-occurring disorders can be located in just about any population. If one is dependent on a drug and or alcohol and has mental issues as well, both substance abuse and mental health disorders need to be treated. One issue cannot be treated and the other left untreated. Ongoing treatment programs and rehabilitation services is available to clients so each individual can live a healthy stabilized life.
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