Mental Health and Addiction
June 2, 2017

Mental Health and Addiction

Individuals suffering from mental health disorders are likely to abuse drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism or to self-medicate their symptoms. A depressed patient may use marijuana to numb the pain. A patient struggling with panic attacks may take Xanax or Valium to calm the symptoms or stop attacks before they start.

It is reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research that there is a definite connection between mental illness and the use of addictive substances. Mental health patients are responsible for the consumption of 38% of alcohol, 44% of cocaine, and 40% of cigarettes. Certain drugs can also create problems which trigger mental health symptoms, including delusions, paranoia, and depression.

One in four adults living with a serious mental health problem is also said to have a substance use problem. Substance use problems occur more frequently with mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Heavy drug use in the adolescent years is said to possibly lead to mental illness later in life.

What Causes Mental Illness and Addiction?

Factors that could explain the simultaneous occurrence of addiction and mental illness include genetics, chemical deficiency, and shared environment. It is not entirely clear the exact relationship between drug abuse and mental illness, but the connection does work both ways. Fifty percent of individuals with an addictive disorder will have a psychiatric disorder. Approximately 20% of those with a psychiatric disorder will also have an addiction problem.

Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction

When searching for treatment of substance abuse it is important to look into the specialized treatment of mental health disorders as well. When substance abuse and a mental health disorder are diagnosed in a patient, it is known as a dual-diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Both disorders must be treated and addressed simultaneously for successful recovery since they work hand-in-hand. An estimated 55.8% of people struggling with dual-diagnosis conditions do not receive treatment for either disorder.

A New Start, Inc. offers patients specialized treatment for mental health disorders and addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both disorders simultaneously, giving the patient thorough treatment for recovery. Contact us today at 844.TALK.ANS to learn more about mental health and addiction treatment.

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