Tourette syndrome (TS) is a disorder of the nervous system that causes involuntary and repetitive movements or vocalizations called tics. These tics can be hugely disruptive in the life of the patient, making it difficult to maintain relationships in some cases or take on certain types of employment or activities.
A spectrum disorder, not all who are diagnosed with Tourette syndrome will experience the same symptoms or intensity of symptoms. Whether mild, moderate or severe, the disorder can be extremely difficult for patients to manage, and professional treatment is recommended.
Unfortunately, the existence of an issue like Tourette syndrome may increase the likelihood that a patient will turn to alcohol or drugs for escape or relief from the frustration and/or depression that often co-exists with the disorder.
When substance use and abuse become a regular habit, an addiction can develop and the patient risks experiencing all the problems associated with substance abuse, including:
If you are, or your loved one is, diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and struggling with drug or alcohol abuse as well, Dual Diagnosis treatment can help. Contact us today for more information.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the following is true about Tourette syndrome and those who struggle with the disorder:
One of the major characteristics of Tourette syndrome is the presence of tics, or uncontrollable movements or sounds expressed by patients with the disease. They can be simple or complex and may include:
Some tics can be harmful to the patient (e.g., punching themself in the face). Others are prefaced by a premonitory urge or characterized by a sensation or feeling that it is about to happen. Some patients report the urge or need to repeat the tic multiple times before they can rest. Others find that hearing or seeing someone say or do their tic behavior may trigger the patient’s urge to follow suit (e.g., seeing someone skip or hop may make them feel compelled to do the same if that is their tic behavior) or certain sensations like feeling constricted or uncomfortable may trigger the tic as well.
Additionally, though tics are diminished during sleep, they do not stop completely, which is why many patients report sleep disruption issues.
Treatment can assist Tourette syndrome patients in learning how to mitigate the disruption caused by their tics. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are a number of options, and an integrated treatment program that provides patients with everything they need to heal is recommended.
Treatment services can include any combination of the following as per the needs of the patient:
Why do many Tourette syndrome patients develop a substance abuse problem? Drug and alcohol abuse can become an issue for TS patients when they develop issues of anxiety, depression, or frustration due to their inability to control their symptoms and/or the effect they have on their lives.
Drinking and using drugs may initially provide an escape from these feelings, but over time, this habit can create a host of problems of its own and can turn into a devastating and debilitating addiction that requires treatment as well.
When a Tourette syndrome patient is diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, it is important that they undergo a rehabilitation program that not only provides them with treatment for tics associated with TS but that also offers care to address the problems associated with other disorders as well. It is not effective to treat one disorder and then treat the other; rather, patients must address all of their disorders simultaneously in treatment in order to make lasting progress in both areas.
Some options to look for in a treatment program when Dual Diagnoses including Tourette syndrome are present should include:
Contact us at the phone number listed above to have your loved one matched to a Dual Diagnosis rehab that can help them address Tourette syndrome and co-occurring mental health or substance use disorders. Call now to get started.