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Co-Occurring Disorders - Mental Health and Substance Abuse

            It all started on January 25, 2013 when I, out of curiosity, attended a seminar on Co-Occurring Disorders at Westfield State University; Peter Wood was the trainer and the sponsors were Western Mass. Substance Abuse Providers' Association, Inc. and Westfield State University Addiction Counselor Education Program Alumni Association. This seminar was what helped me make up my mind to become an Addiction Counselor. I was given the opportunity to pick a topic to research that I felt was important. Given my own personal experience and background I chose the topic Co-Occurring Disorders. (COD) The understanding of COD is not always clear cut. This leads to the misunderstanding of what is best for treating a person with COD. .
             Although researchers have come a long way; most of my research I chose was from the years 2001-2011 and in that time many discoveries were made, it is now nearing the end of 2013 and there is still much debate in the treatment and understanding of COD. I have hopes of better understanding this disorder and look for ways that I may be able to help. Life can be difficult for all people, however, when a person is trying to live life with a co-occurring disorder it can make it much more difficult. Having not only a Mental illness but also a Substance abuse disorder can change a person's abilities to cope and properly use everyday life skills. Although today's society is working hard at finding the right treatment and care plans, there is still much debate about what is working and what is not. .
             Mental health is being aware, accepting yourself, and striking a balance in all aspects of your life; in particular social, spiritual, physical, economical, and mental (Association C. M., 2001). Mental health can be described as our positive interactions with the context and events in our life, and having the ability to cope with life's stressors. Mental health problems can begin at anytime during your life.

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