It can be challenging to treat both bipolar disorder and substance use disorder on their own. Together, treatment methods must be even more delicate and precise. Giving the wrong medication to a bipolar patient can put them at risk of suicide or aggressive behavior. Because of the challenges involved in treating co-occurring bipolar disorder and substance abuse, an integrated approach with both medications and therapy and family interventions is often warranted.
Bipolar patients with co-occurring SUD will often need to stay for some time in a medical detox and inpatient rehabilitation facility. Doctors are available 24/7 in these facilities to monitor patients and make sure they are given the correct medication for their diagnosis. Also, integrated therapy, where patients can identify with help from a trained therapist their triggers and how to cope without substances is best for treating both the mood disorder and SUD. Integrated treatment methods, where both the mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder are addressed and treated simultaneously give bipolar patients the best outcomes.
Although these two disorders are challenging to treat, treatment and recovery are possible. SUD and bipolar disorder are lifelong illnesses, but inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities give patients, access to trained therapists, doctors, and social workers who can help them create an ongoing maintenance and treatment plan.
With ongoing treatment, patients are better able to avoid triggers and deal with stressors in everyday life without resorting to drugs or alcohol. Ongoing, contingency plans for bipolar patients also enable them to better manage their care for life. If medications need changing or adjusted, an ongoing treatment plan gives patients quicker, more efficient access to doctors and clinicians who understand their disorder and their history, and how to best treat it.
Bipolar disorder is a severe mental health condition, but it is treatable. Patients who can receive integrated, personalized care can go on to live a life free from the disruption of bipolar symptoms. If you or a loved one are struggling with bipolar disorder and substance abuse, please reach out to qualified mental health counselor today to explore your treatment options.