Co-Occurring Disorders in Teenagers

How a Family Counselor Can Help an Adolescent Overcome Teenage-Related Problems

Alcohol and drug abuse is a serious issue for many teenagers in the States. However, many people don’t realize that alcohol and teenage addiction are often accompanied by a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, or depression. In most cases, these problems are all combined together, and it’s something that a family counselor would call co-occurring disorders.

187542900One of the biggest mistakes many specialists make is treating only one of the two problems and not seeing them as a compound issue. Only 10% of the teenagers who have a drug addiction problem and a mental health condition are treated for both. What’s even worse is that more than half of the rest are not treated at all.

Sometimes, the specialists may try to determine which problem occurred first (the addiction or the PTSD) and focus on treating only that particular problem. Unfortunately, this is not the way it’s supposed to happen. Determining which condition occurred first is almost impossible. PTSD may often drive towards drug abuse, while drug addiction often leads to depression. Treating one without the other is, by far, one of the biggest mistakes a specialists in counseling services can make.

Treating the Person not the Illness
The best way to treat an individual with co-occurring disorders is to address the problem as a whole. Unfortunately, many treatments focus on alleviating the symptoms of the illness only. This may work in the short run, but the problem will always reoccur since the source of the issue wasn’t addressed properly. So, the proper way to address this problem is to make sure the individual gets counseling. If the person is a teenager, then they should see a family counselor.

Affiliated Nevada Counselors offers fully integrated counseling and therapy solutions for people in Las Vegas NV. Call us at (702) 323-0957 if you want to find out more about our counseling services.

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