obsessive compulsive disorder and drug use

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD is a mental health disorder that affects approximately 1.2% of the adult population. It is characterized by repetitive cycles of alternating obsessive thoughts and the resulting compulsive behaviors. Obsessions may revolve around a particular fear, disgust, perfectionism, or something the individual feels they cannot control. The compulsions that result are efforts made to alleviate those uncomfortable feelings caused by the obsession. This sets in motion a highly disruptive and time consuming pattern that causes the individual great distress.

Some of the more common types of obsessions revolve around:

  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Perfectionism, concerning symmetry or exact placement
  • Fear of some dangerous event, such as setting the house on fire or being burglarized
  • Forbidden sexual thoughts, including perversions, homosexual thoughts, or aggressive sexual behaviors

A few of the most common types of compulsions include:

  • Washing hands, cleaning, preventing physical contact
  • Checking (that the lights are turned off, the oven is off, etc.)
  • Repeating routine actions (such as tapping, touching, going in and out of a door, blinking, rereading, etc.)
  • Placing items in a specific arrangement or order

OCD can become so invasive that the person’s life is affected on all fronts. Some who struggle with OCD may isolate themselves in order to avoid triggers that would expose the disorder in public.

It isn’t fully understood what causes OCD, however research suggests that there is a disconnect in the neural pathways between the frontal lobe and deeper brain structures. In addition, there is some evidence that OCD has a genetic component, as the mental health disorder does seem to run in families.

The Link Between Drug Abuse and OCD

When considering the emotional struggle that individuals with OCD experience daily, it isn’t hard to imagine why they may turn to drug use to help them cope with it. Certain substances may provide some symptom relief, at least initially. As with every dual diagnosis, eventually the substance that was providing some relief will only end up causing them more suffering if the drug abuse evolves into addiction. The earlier that the OCD is diagnosed and treated, the lower the risk of the individual turning to drugs.

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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