A co-occurring disorder is also known as a dual diagnosis and each year nearly nine million individuals enter drug rehab with co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders include individuals who struggle with both a psychological or psychiatric disorder and substance use problem. For example, a person may struggle with oxycontin use and bipolar disorder. Commonly diagnosed mental disorders include obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, panic disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and bipolar disorders.
The term "co-occurring disorder" is misleading in that alcohol and substance misuse are not based on a disease but are behavior patterns. That's why medication can sometimes help people with a mental or emotional problem but not someone who has a drinking or drug problem.
It's commonly argued that alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases, but that theory is not supported by medical or scientific evidence. The only successful use of pharmaceuticals is in helping people detox. Their effectiveness in helping people quit using has generally proven to be elusive.
Fortunately, many people find that their mental and emotional problems are relieved when they solve their substance use problems. The question then is how can people eliminate their alcohol or drug use? A change in perspective from a substance user, can significantly help "self-limiting" or "negative" emotions and thoughts. Often time's people's personal acceptance of these self-limiting and sometimes self destructive emotions vary. Before an eventual overload occurs, most individuals can handle a relatively high degree of pain caused by these emotional episodes making it possible to remain in this state for years.
Saint Jude's Retreats research has found however that there is a way to remedy yourself besides turning to drugs, if you're of the edge of a void in your life, staring at the future, feeling overwhelmed. This is accomplished by looking at emotional problems and substance use problems as separate entities. The brain can only consciously process one thought or concept at a time, slowly and consistently creating a self expansive (or "positive") neuroplastic change in your brain, reversing the downward pattern. These changes will also help you progress away from fear, anxiety, and depression that is said to be the reason for your co-occurring disorder, or so drug rehabs claim.
The Saint Jude Retreats has a complete alternative view from rehab and 12 step programs. The effectiveness of 12 step programs is only about five percent and often times lower. The federal government has found that participating in no program leads to a higher success rate. It appears that teaching people that they are powerless and must submit their will to God or a Higher Power actually makes it harder for virtually anyone to become sober or clean.
However, the methods of Cognitive Behavioral Education at the non-profit St. Jude retreats has proven to be very successful in helping people overcome alcohol and drug problems. Outside research has repeatedly found that past guests of St. Jude have a long term success rate of at least 62 percent in achieving and maintaining a lifestyle free of alcohol and drugs.