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Mental Health Problems and Drug Addiction

drug addicts and mental health

Mental health disorders have been known to lead to alcohol or drug abuse as a way of self-medicating. At the same time, addiction to illegal substances and alcohol can lead to mental health problems. Sometimes mental health problems and substance addictions occur together. Many people diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD) also suffer from mental health conditions. This is called a dual diagnosis. People with dual diagnoses should receive an integrated treatment plan to address both disorders as interconnected issues.

Dealing With Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

While SUDs and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are closely linked, one doesn’t necessarily directly cause the other. However, mental health disorders can induce a substance addiction (and vice versa). Are you coping with co-occurring conditions? Are you trying to tackle your addiction while struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health problem? The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) says that 45% of people in the US struggle with a dual diagnosis. Seeking treatment for your addiction while undergoing behavioral therapy will give you the best chance at attaining and fulfilling the healthy life you deserve.

Mental Health Problems and Substance Use Disorders Sometimes Occur Together

There’s a link between drug and alcohol abuse and mental health, and it’s more common than you may realize. Several mental health conditions repeatedly present alongside addiction. Often, these disorders are the underlying cause of addiction. Common mental health disorders connected to substance abuse include the following:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

Warning Signs Of A Co-occurring Disorder

The signs of a dual diagnosis will always differ between individuals. However, some warning signs that you may have a substance abuse disorder and a mental health issue could be:

  • You rely on alcohol or drugs to manage unpleasant memories or emotions, control pain, change your mood, face frightening situations, or stay focused on a task.
  • There’s a noticeable relationship between your substance use and your mental health. For example, do you get angry or depressed when you drink? Does taking certain drugs leave you feeling anxious?
  • You have a family history of mental disorders or alcohol or drug abuse.
  • You no longer go to events or activities that you once enjoyed.
  • You’re neglecting health and hygiene.

The only way to diagnose and treat a co-occurring disorder is by seeking professional help. Work with a team of healthcare providers, including physicians and mental health professionals, for a comprehensive care plan.

Co-occurring Disorders Are Treated Differently

Although you should seek treatment simultaneously, you will still require a different treatment plan for your addiction and mental health problems. For example, you may enter an opioid treatment or alcohol abuse program to treat your addiction while undergoing comprehensive mental health services to get your mental health back on track. Some things that can aggravate a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder are:

  • Brain Responses: Abusing drugs can lead to psychosis in some individuals. Psychosis is a severe mental illness that drives people to lose touch with reality.
  • Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to develop an addiction or a mental disorder.
  • Environmental Triggers: Stress, anxiety, or a traumatic event can kickstart an addiction or mental illness.

Recovering From Mental Health Problems and Substance Use

Addiction and mental health issues don’t get better when ignored and are likely to worsen. Someone with a mental health problem and substance use disorder should treat both. Treatment options often include rehabilitation, medications, support groups, and talk therapy.

Where to Get Help for Mental Illness and Drug Addiction in Ohio

Get the help you need for a dual diagnosis in Columbus at Complete Healthcare. Whether you’re suffering from a mental health issue caused by substance abuse or drug or alcohol addiction caused a mental health issue, you have to find a tailored treatment plan that targets both disorders simultaneously. You’ll receive the care you need while learning how to cope and deal with addiction and mental health problems. So start your recovery today by calling 614.882.4343.

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