Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Many people who struggle with addiction suffer from mental health issues. For many, these issues led to the addiction in a direct or indirect way, and the addiction serves not to alleviate the mental health issues but rather to exacerbate them and make them even more complicated and debilitating. This can make the management of both struggles seem overwhelming.

The term used to describe an addiction that is accompanied by mental health issues is dual diagnosis. At many points in addiction treatment history, these two problems were treated separately; today, most addiction recovery professionals understand that the best course of treatment with the best hopes for a positive future outcome is to treat both issues simultaneously.

In some cases, the mental health issues suffered by someone with substance use disorder are vast, complex, and difficult to treat. In other cases, they are common and prevalent mental health concerns that can be managed with proper care after professional intervention.  Many people who struggle with addiction commonly grapple with depression, anxiety, or a combination of both.

One way that anxiety commonly manifests itself is in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a rather common anxiety disorder. A person diagnosed with OCD will participate in repetitive thoughts, habits, or movements. These actions can include things like rearranging belongings, hyper-focus on numeric evenness or oddness of numbers, cleaning, washing, counting, and similar things. They feel driven to complete these actions by an unknown force; once they do, they feel some relief, but they will soon feel driven to do it all over again.

OCD presents itself in varying levels of severity. People with severe OCD often find that their condition prevents them from leading a normal life. Sometimes these individuals are unable to keep a job or have a healthy long-term relationship due to this condition.

OCD and Addiction

As a result, some people with OCD turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

According to a study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, more than a quarter of people who seek treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder also suffer from a substance use disorder. The study also found that people who experience OCD at first in childhood or adolescence are even more likely to develop a drug or alcohol problem than people who don’t experience OCD symptoms until adulthood.  Often, children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder develop this anxious condition to help them cope with existing anxiety and fear; later, drugs and alcohol also serve as coping mechanisms for the same emotions.

However, people with OCD find that drinking and using drugs only offer brief periods of relief. In both the short and long term, using drugs and drinking alcohol actually make the OCD worse. In turn, these brief periods of happiness lead to more and more drinking and drug use in an attempt to find further relief, and the issues then just build upon one another and spiral.

OCD and Addiction Treatment

As one might imagine, it can be challenging to treat both OCD and addiction at the same time, but it’s not at all impossible.  However, for ultimate success, it’s crucial that both issues are confronted simultaneously.

There are a number of different therapies that can help relieve the obsessions and compulsions that come with OCD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help patients build self-control and can help them learn healthy and effective coping strategies that do not include drug or alcohol use. Participation in support groups and group therapy can also help people struggling with OCD and addiction to understand that they are not alone and can aid them by learning from others about what worked for them in similar situations.

General, ongoing, long-term one-on-one therapy with a counselor in an inpatient or outpatient setting will help as well. This type of direct, individualized counseling can help an individual get to the root of their OCD and their addiction. Together, the patient and the therapist can create a plan for change and can celebrate victories and milestones as they are surmounted and reached.

Another excellent treatment option for an OCD and addiction combination is ibogaine therapy. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid. It is taken under the supervision of a doctor in a controlled environment. An ibogaine experience can be very powerful and lasts several days; during the experience, participants go inside themselves and into their subconscious to discover the deep but obscured causes of their mental health and addiction issues. Then they can confront them and overcome them more easily in therapy. Ibogaine has helped hundreds if not thousands of people to end their addictions successfully over the past few decades, and it can work for you, too.

Seek Treatment Today

Whether you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or both, it’s crucial that you seek treatment right away. All of these issues – especially a combination of the two – will only get worse if ignored. However, both are treatable and you can overcome them with proper guidance, motivation, help, and care.

Don’t delay. Seek help today. At Clear Sky Recovery, we offer ibogaine treatment for individuals who are struggling with addiction.  Our innovative methods are rooted in the African continent, using medicine drawn from the tabernanthe iboga plant.  Ibogaine has proven successful time and time again in interrupting addiction and helping individuals who have experienced it to start anew, on a fresh path moving forward, free of the burden of addiction.  Our intake specialists are standing by to give you more information about our methods, our facility in Cancun, Mexico, and our successes so far.  We look forward to hearing from you, and to helping you begin a new and healthier life. Give us a call today.