OCD Treatment

The Link Between OCD and Substance Abuse

OCD and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Many people with OCD struggle with addiction, and vice versa. It can be challenging to determine if your OCD or the addiction appeared first. 

Let’s take a minute to explore the link between OCD and substance abuse. The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder can be challenging to manage, and often may lead to other mental health or substance abuse issues.

Harmony Place is a dual diagnosis treatment center in Los AngelesContact us today to learn how our comprehensive treatment programs can help.

Educate Yourself

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder typically characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. People suffering from OCD and other types of anxiety disorders often have trouble controlling their thoughts and actions. 

Frequently they will perform repetitive behaviors, such as handwashing or counting, to ease their feelings of distress and anxiety. As you can imagine, OCD can be a debilitating condition that interferes with daily life.


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Types of PTSD Disorders

What Are the Symptoms of OCD?

Many physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms often mark OCD. In addition, symptoms of OCD can be described as mild, moderate, or severe and can significantly interfere with one’s ability to function at home, work, or school.

Although OCD usually begins in late childhood or adolescence, it can also start in adulthood. In addition, it may manifest in different ways for different people.

Common Physical Symptoms of OCD

  • Needless handwashing
  • Excessive showering
  • Skin picking
  • Hair plucking
  • Chewing Nails

Common Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of OCD

  • Invasive, unwanted thoughts or images (obsessions)
  • An excessive need to perform certain rituals or behaviors (compulsions), such as counting, tapping, touching, and checking locks or appliances repeatedly
  • Excessive uneasiness and anxiety
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration or focus
  • Trouble falling asleep or remaining sleeping 
The Effect On Mental Health

How Does OCD Affect Mental Health?

Often, OCD can lead to severe mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. 

Furthermore, OCD can also worsen other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or eating disorders.

Statistics About OCD and Mental Health

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), OCD affects over 2.2 million adults in the United States. 

 Typically, the appearance of OCD symptoms begins in childhood or adolescence, with the average age of onset being ten years old. Often OCD is a chronic condition, with symptoms typically lasting for years, if not a lifetime.  

The Impact

How Does OCD Impact Addiction?

Your OCD can impact addiction in many ways. 

  • Difficulty in Resisting Urges to Use Drugs or Alcohol: OCD can make it challenging to resist urges to use drugs or alcohol. 
  • Lead to Engaging in Risky Behaviors: OCD can also lead to risky behaviors, such as sharing needles or engaging in unprotected sex. 
  • Worsen Existing Symptoms of Addiction: OCD can worsen the symptoms of addiction, leading to more severe problems.
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Can OCD Cause Substance Abuse?

OCD and addiction are two very complex conditions that often co-exist. As such, it can be challenging to determine which came first: OCD or addiction. 

OCD can often lead to substance abuse, as people may self-medicate to ease their OCD symptoms. Likewise, addiction can worsen OCD symptoms. It’s important to note that not everyone with OCD will develop a substance abuse problem. 

However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that people suffering from OCD tend to be more likely to overindulge in alcohol or drug use than the general population. 

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    Treatment for OCD

    Treatment Options for OCD and Substance Abuse

    If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD and substance abuse, help is available. There are many options for OCD and substance abuse treatments available. 

    Some people may respond well to medication, while others may find therapy more helpful. Often the most successful treatment for OCD and substance abuse treatment involves a combination of medication, therapy, and self-help.

    Therefore, working with a mental health professional is essential to find the OCD treatment center in Woodland Hills that’s right for you.

    Residential Treatment Programs

    Some people may benefit from residential or inpatient treatment programs. Notably, these programs provide 24-hour supervision and care alongside individual therapy, group therapy, and, at times, family therapy. 

    If you or a loved one are suffering from OCD and addiction issues, Harmony Place’s inpatient drug rehab in Los Angeles can help.

    Outpatient Treatment Programs

    Outpatient treatment programs allow people to live at home while receiving addiction treatment. IOPs and PHPs are also effective forms of outpatient care.

    An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of treatment that is between an inpatient and an outpatient program. IOPs provide more structure than outpatient programs but allow people to live at home.

    A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a type of treatment that provides more structure than an IOP but allows people to live at home.


    There are many different types of medications used to treat OCD and addiction. 

    Medications can be used to ease OCD symptoms, cravings, or withdrawal symptoms

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of behavioral therapy that can be used to treat OCD and addiction. CBT can help people change their thoughts and behaviors.

    We Are Here For You

    Harmony Place Offers Comprehensive PTSD and Substance Abuse Treatment in Woodland Hills, CA

    Are you struggling with OCD and need an OCD center in Woodland Hills? Harmony Place Recovery’s trained staff understands OCD and can help you develop the tools you need to manage your OCD symptoms. 

    Our OCD center offers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs and dual diagnosis programs for those struggling with OCD and addiction. 

    Contact us today to learn more about our Woodland Hills OCD treatment options!