Substance Abuse and Mental Health

If one is already suffering from a problem with drug abuse and a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder or panic, it is considered a co-occurring illness or dual diagnosis.

Both the mental health problem and alcohol or drug addiction have their own different signs and symptoms in co-occurring disorders that may interfere with your ability to function at work or school, ensure a sustainable home life, handle the problems of life, and relate to others. The co-occurring disorders also directly impact each other, to make the experience more complicated. The problem of substance abuse usually gets even worse when the mental health issue remains undetected. So when there is a rise in alcohol or substance misuse, mental health issues increase significantly too. You’re not the only one however. Co-occurring issues around drug abuse and mental health are more widespread than many people know. Reports published in the American Medical Association Journal state: About 50% of persons with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one severe mental illness. 29 per cent of the people diagnosed as mentally unstable use either alcohol or drugs.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues - HelpGuide.org

Although problems with addiction and mental health issues do not get better when overlooked in reality, they are likely to get much worse. It’s important to understand you don’t have to feel this way. You can do things to overcome your demons, repair your relationships, and get on the path to recovery. You will conquer a co-occurring illness with the right resources, self-help and care, regain your sense of self and get your life back on track.

Substance abuse and mental disorders such as depression and anxiousness are strongly connected, and while some substance abuse may cause prolonged psychotic reactions one does not cause the other directly. Nonetheless: The side effects of mental health problems are often self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. People often exploit alcohol or drugs to ease the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental disorder, cope with difficult emotions or change their mood temporarily. Unfortunately, the abuse of drugs causes side effects and also worsens the symptoms they originally tended to mitigate in the long run.

Alcohol and substance misuse can raise the risk of psychiatric illness underlying it. Mental illnesses are caused by a complex interplay between biology, the climate and other influences beyond. If you are at threat for a psychological illness, you may be pushed over the edge by alcohol abuse or illegal or prescription medications. For example, there is some indication that some drug abusers have an elevated risk of psychosis while those who misuse prescription painkillers are at higher risk of depression.

Drug and alcohol abuse can aggravate the symptoms of a mental health issue. Substance abuse can significantly increase mental illness symptoms, or even cause new symptoms. An integrated approach, in which both the issue of drug abuse and mental illness are addressed together, is the best cure for co-occurring disorder. Whether your mental health and substance abuse issue first came, lengthy-term recovery relies on getting treatment from the same treatment provider or team for both disorders. Focusing on specific question you have:

Your psychological health problem may be treated with medication, individual or group counselling, changes in lifestyle and peer support. Treatment for your substance abuse may include detoxification, withdrawal symptoms management, behaviour interventions and group support to help maintain your sobriety. The best way of supporting others is by knowing what you can and can’t. You can’t compel someone to stay sober, nor can you convince someone to take their medication, or schedule arrangements. What you can do is make smart decisions for yourself, encourage help from your loved one and offer support while trying to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.