Addiction and its co-occurring mental health disorders are some of the most profound and complex healthcare problems facing individuals, families, and society. While the public focus on opioid-related addiction and overdose highlights today’s epidemic, addiction has been a problem throughout history. Today, however, we are beginning to understand better the drivers of addiction, its effects on the mind, brain, and body, and effective methods of reducing its severity and implications. Few other medical conditions require as extensive an array of specialized care and coordinated health, wellness, and support services to treat effectively. And few other areas of medicine focus as many varied services on patients and loved ones. An appropriately-resourced care plan to treat dual-diagnosis addiction and mental health disorder is likely the most intensive and integrated medical care an individual will receive in her or his lifetime.
The causes of addiction and its effects on physical and mental health and family systems differ from person to person. Trauma—whether encountered before the onset of addiction or as the result of living with the disease—often plays a significant role in the disorder and requires treatment. Women, men, and adolescents face different physiological and mental health implications. Symptoms of living with addiction and associated mental illness can persist for years or decades, and can wreak havoc on one’s self-image, physical and mental health, relationships, education, and career aspirations, finances, and can lead to legal problems.
The complexity of substance use disorders and their effects on one’s entire life, and the lives of people around them demands comprehensive long-term treatment and support. At Futures, we believe in the power of individualized care and comprehensive services to tailor treatments that address the many facets of this complicated disease. We also know that managing addiction and sustaining good mental and physical health is a life-long process. Addiction is a chronic disease, not a “curable” condition. Like many chronic illnesses, recovering from addiction requires a lifetime of management.
Futures works with patients plan to manage their healthcare following initial treatment by establishing a coordinated continuum of care. Connecting patients with specialized care providers, support groups, counselors, alumni, and other resources creates a bridge to independent living and lasting recovery.