Drug Abuse And Mental Illness

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Mental illness among drug addicts is a common and escalating issue. When someone suffers from a mental illness alongside a drug or alcohol addiction, it is categorized as dual-diagnosis. Those struggling with mental illness are 2x as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when compared to the general populous. A variety of scenarios can be included in the complex cause-and-effect relationship between these two areas.

Relationship Between Drug Abuse And Mental Illness

The possible relationships between drug abuse and mental illness as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • A common origin may be apparent for both disorders
  • Drug and alcohol abuse may exacerbate or cause mental illness
  • Mental illness may lead to substance abuse when subjects self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in an effort to ease the side effects of medication or alleviate symptoms of the disorder at hand

Common Origins Of Mental Diagnosis And Substance Abuse

When a single cause is apparent for both disorders, it is often one of the following:

  • Areas of the brain have been linked to both drug abuse and mental illness
  • Some patients are more susceptible to drug abuse and mental illness as a result of environmental factors, including childhood stressors and family issues
  • A genetic predisposition to both substance abuse and mental illness disorders

Consequences Of Substance Abuse With Mental Illness

Mental illness and Co-morbid substance abuse can result in a variety of consequences, including failure to respond to treatment, medication noncompliance, damaged relationships with loved ones and episodes of psychosis.

Problems Of Addiction With The Mentally Ill

Addiction increases the risk of jail and homelessness while contributing to social stigmas regarding the mentally ill. Though individuals with psychiatric issues are generally non-violent, the few who are aggressive in nature are typically struggling with addiction while ignoring their medication.

Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

Diagnosis can prove difficult due to the time required to unravel the interactive effects of mental illness and addiction. This delay may also inhibit treatment. One may require mental illness treatment over substance abuse treatment, or vice versa. Ultimately, both issues must be addressed in order to achieve a state of optimum mental and physical health.

An integrated recovery approach must be sought when addiction and dual diagnosis is present. Treatment will include counseling, intensive case management, social support and motivational interventions. Recovery should be comprehensive, catering to each and every aspect of the patient’s life, including socialization, activities, housing and stress management.

The road to recovery is never an easy journey. If you or a loved one is struggling with dual diagnosis, Above it All Treatment Center is the place to turn. With a team of seasoned addiction, mental health and recovery specialists available to assess and address your individual needs and condition, you can count on Above it All to have you smiling and on the fast track to fabulous in no time. Call today!

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