Substance Abuse

The Lighthouse works very hard in educating it’s staff and volunteers on a variety of topics that and issues that some of our clients struggle with. One of them is drug use. The Lighthouse has had tremendous success since it has opened in helping people beat their addictions by providing both housing and supports to them. Part of that process is providing good information to our residents, staff, and volunteers about the kind of drugs that are being used and it’s affect on the user.

Sadly many of our residents struggle with concurrent disorders which are in the words of the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions:

What are concurrent disorders?

Concurrent disorders (CD for short) generally describes a situation in which a person experiences a psychiatric disorder and either a substance use disorder and/or a gambling disorder. It is important to keep in mind that there are many different kinds of problems that are covered by these various terms (psychiatric disorder etc); as a result, CD presents itself in many different forms.

For example, someone living with schizophrenia who has problems with cannabis use has a concurrent disorder, and so does a person who has problems with alcohol use and has a clinical depression. Treatment approaches for each person would be different.

Other terms for concurrent disorders

Other terms used over the years to describe the occurrence of both problems include:  dual disorders, dual diagnosis, co-morbidity, and co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental disorders These terms will still be found in publications and on web sites. In Ontario, the term dual diagnosis applies to people with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders. In the United States and in the international literature, dual diagnosis and dual disorders are most commonly used; although recently the phrase “co-occurring disorders” has been used to refer to clients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders.

Substance Abuse Fact Sheets