Addiction is a complex condition, and treatment is next to impossible without recognizing the underlying causes. On a basic level, the causes appear simple. Prolonged substance abuse results in chemical changes to the brain that lead to cravings. Those with genetic predispositions toward addictive behavior often experience these changes much more rapidly. Oregon addiction treatment centers rightfully approach all clients with this understanding.
The best treatment centers, however, understand that there are numerous other causes of addiction that must be taken into account. Three of the biggest are co-occurring mental and emotional disorders, traumatic life events, and early initiation of substance use. Oregon addiction treatment programs that identify these causes and treat them accordingly will usually achieve far better success rates, as they will be able to provide more individualized programs for each of their clients.
If you are seeking Oregon addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, you will want to find a treatment center that understands the need for this type of customized approach. First, you will want to understand the causes themselves. The following should shed some light on each of these underlying causes and why they often strengthen the sufferer’s need to engage in substance abuse.
Comorbid Mental/Emotional Disorders
Various mental and emotional disorders are often comorbid with addiction. Oregon addiction treatment centers must pay careful attention to comorbidity in their clients, as the most recent survey data by SAMHSA indicates that nearly 5% of Oregon adults suffer from serious mental illness. Another 4.5% per year experience suicidal ideations. Over half of those with mental health issues go untreated.
Comorbid mental and emotional disorders often lead to self-medicating. In many cases, the sufferer does this without ever receiving a diagnosis. They do not use drugs or alcohol in a conscious attempt to treat their illness, but rather because they simply recognize that something is wrong and wish to feel better.
When their substance of choice provides instantaneous relief, it quickly becomes a necessity. Substance use becomes a way of life because it is the only way of life that is not consistently miserable. Despite the consequences of using, they will still continue because the occasional hospital visit, legal issue or broken relationship still feels like a net gain compared to the daily turmoil created by their own mind.
Oregon addiction treatment programs will encounter many comorbid disorders when treating a large number of clients, but the following are among the most common:
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder
Many other mental and emotional disorders may share comorbidity with addiction. The best bet for those who suspect they may suffer from co-occurring disorders is to find an Oregon addiction treatment center that offers dual diagnosis care. Upon diagnosing the underlying causes of your need to self-medicate, the clinical and therapeutic staff will help you devise a plan to overcome your mental barriers and engage in a solid program of recovery.
Abuse and Other Traumatic Life Events
Traumatic life events such as childhood abuse or intimate partner violence often lead to habitual escapism. Other forms of trauma, such as military violence, sexual assault, a loved one’s suicide, becoming the victim of a crime, or suffering a major injury, can result in a similar need to escape from the feelings of one’s past. Oregon addiction treatment programs often find when conducting admission interviews that many patients suffer from some form of grief or trauma that either led to or exacerbated their substance use.
Military stress is a major contributor to substance use, as Oregon currently boasts more than 310,000 veterans according to the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Many of these have suffered PTSD, including members of the 59% of female veterans (approximately 14,995 women) who have been subjected to military sexual trauma.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are even greater issues outside of the military. In 2016, Oregon domestic violence and sexual assault programs answered 139,580 calls. Many requests for shelter and other services could not be met, according to DHS statistics. Furthermore, while unverified, the unfortunate likelihood is that the calls received do not account for the majority of domestic and sexual violence cases in the state. Many such crimes go unreported, and the victims in these cases are even more likely to engage in substance use to heal both their trauma and the resultant feelings of alienation.
A number of Oregonians who engage in substance abuse are not dealing with current loss or trauma, but rather experiences suffered in childhood. One study on adverse childhood experiences found that a potential 62% of Oregon’s population experience at least one form of childhood trauma, while many younger survey participants experienced four or more. The most common forms of adverse childhood experiences among those who suffered them were:
- Household substance abuse (32%)
- Verbal abuse (30%)
- Parental separation or divorce (29%)
- Physical abuse (20%)
- Household mental illness (20%)
- Violent treatment of mother (16%)
- Sexual abuse (13%)
- Incarcerated household member (8%)
More than 25% of participants experienced three or more of the above. Adverse childhood experiences greatly raise the risk of ongoing substance use, as well as the development of behavioral disorders. They also increase the risk of early onset addiction, something that Oregon addiction treatment programs know all too well. Those who suffer these experiences, or any other traumatic life events, would greatly benefit from an addiction treatment program offering trauma resolution or grief counseling.
Initiating Substance Use at an Early Age
When addicts and alcoholics begin at a young age, it becomes much more difficult to stop. Old habits die hard, and addicts who start early will experience greater chemical changes to the brain. This is a problem for Oregon addiction treatment programs, as approximately 12.6% of adolescents in Oregon use illicit drugs while another 16.5% engage in heavy drinking. These percentages exceed those of many other states, in which adolescent substance use does not constitute as great a problem.
Those who begin using early will encounter numerous difficulties. For instance, many younger addicts and alcoholics who enter treatment have sparse (or even non-existent) employment histories. Some suffer from lack of motivation, while others simply cannot pass the required drug tests. Oregon addiction treatment programs with a predominantly younger client population often find it beneficial to offer groups focused on life skills. Not only will this directly address one of the primary consequences of their addiction, but it can also provide motivation for maintaining recovery by highlighting the importance of leading a more responsible lifestyle.
More than anything, those who began using early will benefit from a treatment program offering a strong focus on relapse prevention. The longer a person uses, the more consequences they suffer. If a person begins young but does not enter treatment for several years, they will often have racked up far more consequences than some of their peers in treatment. These may include health consequences, alienation from loved ones, or a long history of run-ins with the law. Oregon addiction treatment programs that merely keep their clients clean for a period without actively teaching them how to stay sober and prevent further consequences are not worth your time.
How Dual Diagnosis Oregon Addiction Treatment Can Help
The vast majority of Oregon addiction treatment programs will identify and treat each of the above issues as needed; however, due to the sheer number of addicts in the state, some programs offer cookie-cutter treatment that does not account for individualized needs. It can be very difficult to tell the difference until it is too late. As a general rule of thumb, you can pass over any program that does not offer dual diagnosis care.
Aspire Health Network provides some of the best dual diagnosis facilities in the country. Those willing to seek treatment out of state will benefit greatly from seeking care at a facility such as Aspire Treatment Center, where we understand the vast array of characteristics that make up an individual and adjust our treatment approach to suit each person’s varying needs. Additionally, many find that leaving Oregon for treatment helps ensure greater success in recovery by removing the individual from the environment in which they were previously using.
When you receive dual diagnosis treatment from Aspire, you will be able to confront your addiction and its underlying causes simultaneously. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that one can wait until the other has been handled, as this will only increase the chance of relapse. Unresolved issues are like time bombs for those who are accustomed to escaping discomfort by resorting to substance abuse. A full recovery depends upon comprehensive care.
If you are looking for a quality dual diagnosis program in Oregon, reach out for help today. There are many quality Oregon addiction treatment programs, but Aspire’s care centers can provide top-level treatment without delay. The underlying causes of your addiction will not dissipate on their own. Let us help you make a full recovery.