Is There a Link Between OCD and Addiction? March 19th, 2019 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News Is There a Link Between OCD and Addiction?

Is There a Link Between OCD and Addiction?

Colorado drug rehab

Many people with a substance use disorder also struggle with other mental, emotional or behavioral issues. Such co-occurring disorders can exacerbate the symptoms of addiction, which can make treating both issues more challenging.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is sometimes diagnosed along with addiction. Treatment for OCD and addiction can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. When the disorders co-occur, it is critical that the treatment protocol addresses both disorders at the same time.

What Is OCD?

OCD is a chronic disorder that causes people to lack control over constantly recurring thoughts and behaviors. The person has a strong urge to continually repeat these behaviors or have these thoughts over and over again.

OCD stems from communication problems between the front part of the brain and other brain structures. More specifically, there is typically an issue with serotonin, the chemical messenger in the brain that fosters communication.

Such a state of obsession and compulsiveness can disrupt your life and cause extreme distress.

The Link Between OCD and Addiction

Like other co-occurring disorders, one disorder could have an effect on, or cause, the other. In some situations, people with mental and behavioral issues turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate to alleviate the pain and discomfort they may be experiencing as a result of their mental disorder.

Because drugs and alcohol are often used to mask negative thoughts and feelings, those who suffer from OCD may be more vulnerable to developing substance use disorders. Misusing drugs and alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of OCD and inevitably impede treatment.

For other people, addiction to drugs or alcohol can negatively affect their brain, which can lead to psychological symptoms and make treatment much more challenging.

According to research, the prevalence of OCD among those suffering from addiction is anywhere between two to six times higher compared to people without OCD.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of OCD often go undiagnosed in people with substance use disorders, with only half of individuals with such co-occurring disorders getting the help they need.

Getting Help For OCD and a Substance Use Disorder

When living with an addiction and a mental health disorder, getting help in the form of addiction treatment is a good first step, but getting help for addiction along with a co-occurring disorder is even better. Considering that one disorder may worsen the other, treating both disorders at the same time is the key to effectively managing co-occurring disorders and minimizing the odds of relapse.

Many treatment centers, like The Recovery Village, are equipped with the skilled staff and appropriate therapies that are effective in treating addiction along with specific co-occurring disorders. Medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapies may be implemented to help those with OCD and a substance use disorder.

Contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake today to discuss your unique needs and discover appropriate treatment options.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.