Links Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse | True Recovery

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

When a person is abusing drugs, they may display behavior that seems unusual or erratic, or they may start to experience feelings such as intense sadness. Others may feel like they cannot relax or deal with strong negative emotions without drinking alcohol or using other addictive substances. In some cases, these may be signs of mental illness that are exacerbated by the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Having issues with substance abuse and mental illness is not uncommon, as they frequently go hand in hand. If left untreated, this dual problem increases the risk of serious injury to oneself and to others. If you are dealing with both substance abuse and mental health issues, it is crucial that you select a rehab facility, such as True Recovery, that has experience in the treatment of individuals with are suffering from mental illness and addiction.

How Common Is it?

When a person abuses drugs or other substances and also has at least one mental illness, it is known as a dual-diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. The co-occurrence of mental health and substance abuse issues affects millions of people in the United States. In the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, statistics show that in 2014, out of the 20.2 million adults with a substance abuse disorder and the 43.6 million adults with a mental illness, approximately 7.9 million people had both a substance abuse disorder and mental illness.

Does Substance Abuse Cause Mental Illness?

When a person who abuses drugs starts to show signs of mental illness, friends and family may assume that the drugs are causing the problem. This, however, is not always the case. Often, a person will already have mental health issues before the substance abuse begins. Once the abuse begins, it can cause the disorder or disorders to become more severe and episodes more frequent, which may make them more apparent to others. In some cases, mental health and substance abuse problems may arise if one turns to alcohol or drugs as a way of self-medicating to ease the symptoms of their illness.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated With Substance Abuse

Some mental illnesses are more likely to be part of a co-occurring problem than others. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and sleep disorders are likely to increase one’s risk of developing an addiction to alcohol and drugs. Of these conditions, women are more likely to suffer from depression and addiction, while antisocial personality disorder more often affects men. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are known to raise the risk of developing an addiction even higher than other conditions that are commonly associated with substance abuse.

Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders

It is important to choose a treatment center that is staffed by professional and highly trained doctors, therapists, and counselors who have experience in the treatment of people who have a mental illness and substance abuse problem. At True Recovery, our intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) uses innovative, goal-focused therapies to assist you in achieving a successful recovery. Our alternative rehab program allows us to devise an individualized plan that will provide the best care for you, including addiction counseling and treatments for those with co-occurring disorders. In addition, our program is designed to help you rediscover personal passions or interests and set goals for your future.

If you or a loved one is dealing with substance abuse and mental health concerns, don’t delay getting the necessary treatment and care. Get started now by contacting us at any time, 24 hours a day, to speak with an admissions counselor.