Overview of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder often co-occur with substance abuse. 25% of individuals who experience OCD symptoms and seek help, also experience problems with substance abuse (source).

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is a condition which is characterized by unwanted, recurrent thoughts which often include compulsive, repetitive behaviors.

With OCD the sufferer may understand that his or her fears are unrealistic or unreasonable and may try to control them. Unfortunately, the attempt at ignoring or controlling the obsessions only result in further anxiety. Compulsive behaviors serve to soothe the anxiety.

OCD often centers around themes. For example, a person suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may have an extreme fear of contamination or germs, which results in compulsive acts such as repeatedly washing the hands, refusal to shake hands with others or avoidance of contact with public door knobs, railings or phones.  Most often these obsessions are repetitive and thus the compulsions become ritualistic.

In addition to self soothing through compulsive behavior, OCD patients often self-medicate through substance abuse.

Common Obsessions in People with OCD (iocdf.org)


  • Body fluids (examples: urine, feces)
  • Germs/disease (examples: herpes, HIV)
  • Dirt/environmental contaminants (examples: asbestos, radiation)
  • Household chemicals (examples: cleaners, solvents)

Losing Control

  • Fear of acting on an impulse to harm oneself
  • Fear of acting on an impulse to harm others
  • Fear of violent or horrific images in one’s mind
  • Fear of blurting out obscenities or insults
  • Fear of stealing things


  • Fear of being responsible for something terrible happening (examples: fire, burglary)
  • Fear of harming others because of not being careful enough (example: dropping something on the ground that might cause someone to slip and hurt him/herself)

Obsessions Related to Perfectionism

  • Concern about evenness or exactness
  • Concern with a need to know or remember
  • Fear of losing or forgetting important information when throwing something out
  • Inability to decide whether to keep or to discard things
  • Fear of losing things

Unwanted Sexual Thoughts

  • Forbidden or perverse sexual thoughts or images
  • Forbidden or perverse sexual impulses about others
  • Obsessions about homosexuality
  • Sexual obsessions that involve children or incest
  • Obsessions about aggressive sexual behavior towards others

Religious Obsessions (Scrupulosity)

  • Concern with offending God, or concern about blasphemy
  • Excessive concern with right/wrong or morality

Other Obsessions

  • Concern with getting a physical illness or disease (not by contamination, e.g. cancer)
  • Superstitious ideas about lucky/unlucky numbers certain colors

Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in conjunction with addiction at New Method Wellness entails a comprehensive, holistic approach. Each patient will work closely with their clinician and staff psychiatrist to outline the best treatment plan moving forward.

New Method Wellness Treatment Programs

  • We offer detoxification, as needed, for all of our clients at our Rio Home. With round-the-clock management, our detox home is safe and comfortable. 
  • With individualized treatment programs for each of our clients, our primary treatment program is extremely effective. 
  • Our intensive outpatient program is for local residents or clients who would like to continue their treatment program while living at a sober living facility. 
  • With a newly implemented alumni extended aftercare program, our clients are a part of a wonderful sober community.

If you have any questions or concerns about our program, feel free to give us a call: