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On Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

On Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020), many individuals who develop substance use disorders are also diagnosed with mental problems and vice versa. For instance, alcoholism and depression are strongly related. Any substance abuse treatment should take notice of the co-occurring phenomena of illicit drug use and mental problems. The reasons run deeper than what meets the eye.

People are more aware of the fact that addiction can cause mental health-related issues. But the link between mental health and drug abuse goes both ways. In AddictionCenter, Jeffrey Juergens and David Hampton (2019) write that there are mental health and behavioral disorders that repeatedly present themselves alongside drug addiction. They list depression, eating disorders, general anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder among those observed to arise with substance abuse issues.

You might ask why disorders and substance abuse go together. As a drug treatment center in California, we know that:

  • People with mental health issues are inclined to use substances to cope with their symptoms.
  • They self-medicate substances for temporary relief from manic episodes.
  • They have strong feelings of inferiority and drugs supposedly remedy their feelings.
  • People with certain kinds of mental health issues grow irrational obsessions and attachments.
  • People with poor mental health develop fewer endorphins than a healthy brain making them more susceptible to feel-good drugs.

If both mental and drug problems occur at the same time, this is what the National Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) calls a “dual diagnosis.” If you are seeking an individualized recovery program in Los Angeles, California, New Hope Drug & Alcohol Treatment Program, Inc. is a non-profit organization here to help. Call now to learn more.

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