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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects many people with substance use disorder (SUD). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “OCD frequently co-occurs with substance use disorders . . . Individuals with co-occurring OCD and SUDs may have a greater level of impairment in overall psychosocial functioning than individuals with OCD but without an SUD.” Painted Desert Recovery addresses all active and underlying issues affecting a person’s recovery from substance abuse, including co-occurring OCD.
OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by compulsions, impulsivity, and intrusive repetitive patterns of behavior or thinking. Most people with OCD have co-occurring substance abuse or mental health disorders.
Some of the risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder include:
OCD may impact all areas of a person’s life, including their career, education, and personal relationships. Treatment involves addressing OCD and SUD or other mental health issues simultaneously to reduce the risk of relapse and increase quality of life.
The symptoms and side effects of OCD vary depending on many factors, including the type of support system a person has and the presence of other co-occurring disorders. SUD impacts how OCD manifests and the severity of symptoms a person experiences.
Everyone reacts differently to the symptoms of OCD and SUD. However, some of the most common signs of OCD include:
People generally experience intrusive thoughts and compulsions about people, places, or items in their everyday lives. For individuals with SUD, the symptoms of OCD may become linked to thoughts or acts related to substance abuse.
Multiple factors may complicate treatment for co-occurring SUD and OCD. If someone believes they may have OCD, a clinical diagnosis is essential to ensure they receive the best treatment. OCD and SUD are usually treated simultaneously using evidence-based therapeutic tools, peer support, and prescription medication.
A large part of treatment for co-occurring SUD and OCD involves finding healthy ways to manage OCD symptoms. According to the previously mentioned article by SAMHSA, “[P]ersonalized behavioral health care that focuses not only on illness and disease, but also on wellness and recovery, may provide the healing environment most conducive to achieving positive outcomes” for people with OCD. Reducing the severity of symptoms decreases the risk of relapse and makes it easier for clients to focus more fully on recovering from substance abuse.
Sometimes, people with OCD turn to addictive substances as a way to manage their condition. In addition, individuals with SUD have a higher risk of being diagnosed with mental health disorders, including OCD. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, in one study, “70% of participants with comorbid SUDs reported that OCD preceded SUD onset by at least one year.” The researchers noted that “OCD prevalence rates among individuals receiving treatment for a substance use disorder range from 6% to 12%, two to six times higher than those found in the general population.”
A diagnosis of OCD may complicate recovery from SUD for some clients. Rituals or compulsive thoughts and behaviors may cause people in recovery to lose motivation or feel frustrated with their progress. Treating both disorders using personalized care plans and evidence-based therapies ensures clients have the resources and skills they need to manage their dual diagnosis long-term.
The clinical team at Painted Desert Recovery uses comprehensive assessments to diagnose OCD and other co-occurring mental health disorders, ensuring tailored treatment.
Some of the treatment options available to clients include:
Exposure therapy may be helpful for some individuals with OCD. Every treatment plan is personalized to the unique needs and preferences of each client to ensure women in recovery feel safe and comfortable during treatment.
People diagnosed with OCD often have elaborate rituals they feel compelled to complete to reduce feelings of dread or anxiety. Sometimes, these rituals cause stress and conflict within family relationships. Addiction and mental health recovery programs help people replace rituals with healthy coping mechanisms.
Family members show their support by doing the following:
Family plays a vital role in the treatment of OCD and SUD. According to the Journal of Family Psychology, “Psychological treatments for OCD are increasingly aimed at improving outcomes by directly incorporating family members to address family disruption, dysfunction, or symptom accommodation.” Painted Desert Recovery provides clients and their families with the information and resources they need to strengthen relationships during treatment and long-term recovery.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder affecting millions of people every year. Painted Desert Recovery uses trauma-informed therapy and other forms of treatment to help women manage substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring OCD. To learn more about our programs and services, call our office today at (844) 540-0353.