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Disease of Obsession
SOWK 6103 Week 8 Assignment
Racquel Walsh
Walden University
Co-occurring Disorder Influence Efforts to Stop Substance Abuse
The symptoms linked to co-occurring disorders can sway the attempts made to end the
abuse of a substance by disguising the symptoms of a mental illness and can also interfere with
an individual’s mental illnesses from seeking assistance (Capuzzi & Stauffer 2016). It can also
make it difficult for clinicians treatment to make a diagnosis of the mental disorder. Individuals
who use alcohol and/or drugs in order to disguise their mental illness can cause their symptoms
to worsen which in turn can make it more difficult to treat. Intersecting disorders can make find
the cause much more difficult to determine. The symptoms linked to the mental illness can copy
substance abuse symptoms.
Co-occurring disorders (CODs) can cause confusion during the treatment process as well
as cause potential negative health consequences. Treating the individual can be a complicated
task given the fact that both the mental health disorder and addiction must be treated and
addressed. Usually, one disorder at treated and addressed one at a time. In order to effectively
treat the individual, it is important to make use of integrated approaches where both disorders
will be treated and addressed.
Describe the symptoms and how substance abuse or an addictive behavior might
temporarily counteract the symptoms of the co-occurring disorder.
Addicts who have co-occurring disorders often tend to find that their mental health issues
will become worse due to their substance use as well as find that their addiction will also become
worse because of their mental health problem. Substance abuse can also counteract the
symptoms that are associated with the co-occurring disorder. For instance, most individuals who
engage in smoking marijuana do so to alleviate feelings of anxiety will some individuals on the
other hand may engage in cocaine use in order to mask feelings of depression. Unfortunately,
these substances can provide temporary relief and not does treat or provide long time relief of
any mental health symptoms. Another instance would be individuals with chronic depression.
Individuals with chronic depression tend to use opiates to assist them “escaping” the feelings and
thoughts associated with their chronic depression.
Development of a Ritual around Substance Abuse can Strengthen an Addiction or Treat an
Rituals hold a key role in addiction. For some individuals, a ritual can provide a sense of
support to the addicted individual. When the addicted individual completes the experimental
phase and is in full-blown addiction, that individual may then begin to engage in behaviors that
are ritualistic. For instance, an individual addicted to alcohol will work all day and then come
home and have multiple drinks. These rituals can provide support to the addicted individual’s
addiction. The ritual can also tap into the addiction due to the fact that it becomes very a vital
role in the dependence. Instead of the addicted individual taking part in the use of substances,
they may take part in rituals catered to their health such as special diets and/or exercising. The
ritual can replace bad and unhealthy habits with healthier habits. Following and adhering to these
rituals can provide the addicted individuals with support thus leading to more positive outcomes.
Explain why the type of substance or other obsession is relevant when it comes to the
disease of addiction itself.
The type of substance being used can have a great influence on the level of addiction the
individual will experience. Some substances may take longer than others to develop an addiction.
For instance, for a majority of individuals, marijuana addiction can develop over a longer period
of time, but for other addictions, such as Heroin it can be driven by more major impulsiveness to
use the substance. An individual addicted to alcohol may be able to have more control over their
addiction while individuals addicted to Heroin on the other hand may not have any control over
their addiction.
Describe three examples of how an individual's addiction might impact others or society.
Addiction can have a great impact on the addict’s family as well as society. An addict’s
family can be destroyed due to the addict destroying their family’s trust by lying, stealing, and
constantly disappointing members of their family. Some families struggle and have great
difficulty with assisting their addicted family member, while for some families this can bring the
family to supporting their addicted family member’s addiction. Addiction can also impact
society as well. Some addicts may turn to a life of crime in order to support their addict and may
go to any lengths to do so, which can pose a threat to other individuals. Addiction has the
potential to raise the rates of crimes, domestic violence, theft, other crimes, as well as
homelessness. Another example of how an individual’s addiction might impact others is in the
workplace. If an addicted individual comes to work under the influence of his/her substance of
choice it can interfere with their work performance as well as pose a safety threat to his/her co-
Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling (3rd ed.). New
York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
Daley, D. (2013). Family and social aspects of substance use disorders and treatment. Journal of
Food & Drug Analysis
Flynn, P. & Brown, B. (2008). Co-Occurring Disorders in Substance Abuse Treatment: Issues
and Prospects. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
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