Co-Occurring Disorders and Domestic Violence

Co-Occurring Disorders As It Relates to Domestic Violence

October is domestic violence awareness month and it is important to bring to light the issues that cause domestic violence. Domestic violence is much more than physical assault. Domestic violence can also include non-physical behaviors such as: emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, and elder abuse.

As a society, we are doing a much better job at not turning a blind eye to domestic violence and the stigma associated with it. However, it is simply not enough to focus on the actions of the perpetrator, but we must also understand what causes the behavior and what the outcomes might be. As we continue to study things such as trauma, PTSD, mental health disorders and substance use disorders, we are continuing to find the relationship between domestic violence and co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

As we begin to better understand the correlation between the co-occurring disorders, we can see how there is hope in treating both those who are victims of domestic violence and the people who commit domestic violence. As we study the disease of addiction and mental health, we can determine what genetic and environmental factors contribute to these diseases and how they may present in each person. For instance, a child who was brought up in a home that experienced violence and/or active substance use (drugs or alcohol), would be at an increased risk of becoming a victim or a perpetrator of domestic violence (based on ACE scores).

“The World Health Organization reports that women who reported partner violence at least once in their lifetime are nearly 3 times as likely to have suicidal thoughts and 4 times as likely to attempt suicide. Compared to those who have never been abused, survivors are 6 times as likely to have a substance use disorder.”[1]

Therefore, it is important for a person who has experienced or is experiencing domestic violence to undergo an evaluation by a psychiatrist or licensed counselor to determine the amount of trauma one has experienced and how that may be affecting or could affect decision making or one’s mental health. Additionally, simply incarcerating the offender without properly treating the offender, may result in a re-offense because underlying issues have not been addressed or dealt with.

If children are involved as witnesses to the domestic violence or are also suffering some level of the violence, they will also need evaluation and treatment so to not perpetuate the cycle of abuse (whether as a victim or a perpetrator).

It is important to note, however, that domestic violence isn’t necessarily caused by the substance use, but it can contribute to the violence. Some perpetrators may use drugs or alcohol before committing an act of domestic violence. Substance use and mental health disorders affect a person’s control in some way. Not being able to clearly control one’s behavior and not being able to comprehend the consequences of one’s behavior contributes to domestic violence. Additionally, because people often act differently when under the influence of drugs or alcohol or during a mental health episode, the domestic violence issues can look different for different people, and different from past situations.

The only way to end the cycle is to admit there is a problem and get help. Both parties are affected and one party cannot fix the other by staying in the situation when there is danger involved. Professional help can help determine what is triggering the need for drugs and/or alcohol, as well as diagnose any underlying mental health issues. Once these issues are discovered, a plan of action can be put in place to help everyone involved.

There is hope and we help people. If you are experiencing domestic violence or have experienced past domestic violence, we want to help you find healing and get on a healthy path. We offer individual treatment plans on an outpatient basis to find what is best for you. We also offer family counseling. We have a team of professionals who can help with medical needs, including treatment for substance use and alcohol use, and mental health needs, including psychiatrists and licensed counselors.

We have offices in four states (Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas) spread across fourteen locations. We accept most insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and cash pay. We are accepting new patients in all our offices. Call 844.728.4929 or visit www.pathwayhealthcare.comfor more information.

If you are not the one suffering from domestic violence but you know someone who is, please share this with them and let them know there is help and hope available.


The Five Leading Mental Health Issues Veterans Face and How Pathway Healthcare Can Help

The Five Leading Mental Health Issues Veterans Face and How Pathway Healthcare Can Help

More and more veterans are returning from duty carrying more than just physical wounds. While the VA is doing a better job of increasing awareness for mental health and accessibility for services, there is still much work to be done. The top five issues veterans face are depression, PTSD, substance use disorder, anxiety and SMI (serious mental issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).

Currently, the VA system has approximately 170 VA medical centers. Because the locations are often not close to every veteran, the VA has over 1,000 authorized medical centers throughout the United States. These authorized medical centers encompass different levels of care. At Pathway Healthcare, we are honored that we are one of the authorized medical centers and able to treat veterans, as well as their families, for mental health care, addiction and substance use disorder care, and primary care through the VA Choice Program and Champ VA.

We are grateful for the sacrifice and service of our military men and women and their families. Our psychiatrists, licensed counselors, and medical doctors are available to discuss a treatment plan with you on an outpatient basis.

If you or a loved one are suffering with a mental health issue or a substance use disorder, please know there is hope and help. Contact us today at 844.728.4929 to find a location near you.

A Statement From Our CEO for Our Military Members and Their Families


I know that these are hard times for everyone and our veterans and active duty military, and their families, have not been immune from difficulties. Fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and despair are rampant, and an urgent crisis.

I want to remind you there is hope. Please do not struggle alone.

If you need help, call someone – reach out to one of our Pathway Healthcare offices, or some other mental health resource. Help is available and hope remains.

With all sincerity,

Scott Olson

Co-Founder/CEO and United States Air Force Veteran

Case Management Significantly Improves Recovery Through Access to Help

Those affected by substance use disorders and mental health disorders often have significant social problems that contribute to the success of their treatment outcomes. Some of these issues are: underemployment or unemployment, homelessness, alienated relationships, incarceration/probation, legal issues, medical issues, transportation issues, food insecurity, financial issues, and limited education. To address the substance use disorder or the mental health disorder singularly without addressing the social issue needs contributes to a cycle of poverty, misuse of substances, decline in mental health, and has far reaching consequences on society at large. 

The average cost of treating one person suffering from a mental health disorder in a state-run facility in the state of Mississippi, for instance, is over $48,000 per year. This only accounts for approximately a month-long stay per individual. However, when a patient is also assisted by a case manager who helps with social issues facing this same patient, that cost can be reduced significantly.

Substance use disorders and mental health disorders are found among all socioeconomic groups, however, issues such as poverty, disease, and underemployment are significantly over-represented (SAMHSA, CSAT, 1994). By engaging those who have substance use disorders and mental health disorders with people who care and help them find the necessary resources, improved relationships between patient and provider are increased and the treatment outcomes have much better results than those who are not offered case management services or actively refuse to participate in add-on care.

Pathway Healthcare’s Targeted Case Management bridges the gap for patients with the fewest resources and greatest needs. We help by coordinating high quality medical and behavioral care and granting access to community partners with social resources like food, housing, job skills training, and education. We assess, link, plan, and monitor a patient’s progress to autonomy and recovery.

If you need assistance with a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder, or need help with social issues you are experiencing because of a disorder, please contact us today at 844.728.4929 or visit

Why Quality Care Matters

Pathway Healthcare

There continues to be so much stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders. Many people continue to view these disorders as lifestyle choices rather than diseases. Because of the stigma, many have received less than adequate care to treat their disease, including the underlying issues that have contributed to their disease. We have seen the result of the lack of quality care as the number of cases of overdoses and mental health related issues have continued to rise. 

We have responded by increasing access to our psychiatric team of professionals and addiction specialists.

At Pathway Healthcare, our professionals understand the disease of addiction and mental health disorders. Dr. Stephen Taylor, Director of Behavioral Care says, “We treat our patients with compassionate care and take the time to truly understand and empathize with them individually. We want to guide our patients along the journey from illness and suffering to wellness and wholeness. This is our philosophy of exceptional, quality care. We could never be satisfied with providing anything less.”

Dr. Stephen Taylor is a quadruple-board-certified practitioner and psychiatrist with over 20 years of practice experience with specialized care to adolescent and young adult patients and their families afflicted with drug and alcohol addictions and general psychiatric disorders. He holds a number of degrees from Harvard College, Howard University College of Medicine, and the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, Dr. Taylor is the Medical Director of the Player Assistance/Anti-Drug Program of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), a Program Dr. Taylor designed and implemented. 

About Pathway Healthcare
Our proprietary approach to MAT is MATPlus®, our wrap-around services, and commitment to long-term treatment sets our MAT treatment apart from the rest. We offer peer support and individual, family, and group counseling opportunities, including psychiatric care and medication management. Our professionals are specialists in addiction and mental health communities and are passionate about recovery and committed to their patient’s long-term maintenance of sobriety and behavioral health.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a treatment approach that combines behavioral counseling with medication. Counseling is the main focus of MAT, and a prescription for medication is provided under the guidance of a medical doctor. Medication options for MAT are Buprenorphine, Naloxone, and Suboxone. What makes MAT the most effective treatment program is its provision of custom patient treatment plans developed based on each patient’s unique cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides freedom that allows patients to keep their job, family life, and social obligations. Essentially, a patient learns how to recover in their typical day to day setting. This is beneficial as many patients who leave their normal environments for treatment experience difficulty returning and trying to cope as they respond to the stimulants that remind them of their past behavior.

For more information, visit