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Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Man considering the link between substance abuse and mental health

Did you know that substance abuse and mental health disorders often go hand in hand? In fact, it’s not unusual for people with mental health disorders to turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. And unfortunately, substance abuse can make mental health disorders worse. In many cases, individuals seeking help for their mental health disorders also receive a dual diagnosis of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder (SUD).

Evoke Wellness Ohio operates a dual diagnosis treatment center that specializes in providing personalized treatment options for those who receive a diagnosis of both addiction and mental health issues. For more information on our professionally-guided programs, reach out to our mental health treatment center today at 866.430.9267.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

A SUD is a mental health condition characterized by compulsive substance use and addiction. People with SUDs cannot control their substance use and often experience negative consequences, such as job loss, financial problems, and relationship issues. Sometimes, substance abuse and SUD are used interchangeably to refer to addiction—but in reality, substance abuse leads to developing a SUD.

Symptoms of SUDs vary depending on the person and the substance involved. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Experiencing negative consequences as a result of drug or alcohol use
  • Feeling like you need drugs or alcohol to function or feel normal
  • Using drugs or alcohol in excess
  • Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but being unable to do so

SUDs can develop in any person, but they are prevalent in people with mental health conditions. People with mental health conditions are up to four times more likely to develop a SUD than those without mental health conditions.

What Is a Mental Health Disorder?

A mental health disorder is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood. It can affect how a person behaves, interacts with others, and handles daily activities. There are many different types of mental health disorders, and they can range from mild to severe. Some common mental health disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression

Each disorder has unique symptoms, but some common symptoms include problems with focus and concentration, changes in mood or energy levels, excessive worry or fear, distorted body image, and hallucinations or delusions.

Mental health disorders can be caused by various factors, including genetics, environment, lifestyle choices, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Some disorders may also be triggered by traumatic life events such as abuse or violence.

What Is the Link Between Addiction and Mental Health?

There are several reasons why substance abuse and mental health disorders are so closely linked. For one, people with mental health conditions may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. They may also use substances to try to ease the symptoms of their mental illness.

One of the driving forces of the connection between substance abuse and mental health disorders is that addiction can be thought of as a type of mental illness. Addiction, at its core, is a chronic brain disease that causes compulsive drug use despite negative consequences. When a person has addictive tendencies, this is often a sign of other related mental health issues that have yet to be addressed. If these mental issues are not confronted and healed, the chances are high that the co-occurring addiction will become much more severe and life-altering.

Learn More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs at Evoke Wellness Ohio

If you think you may have a problem with substance abuse and a mental health disorder, it is vital to seek help. Many treatment options are available, including counseling, medication, and support groups. Treatment for these conditions can be very successful, but it is essential to seek help early before the disorder progresses into a more severe and hard-to-treat issue. Treatment plans will vary depending on the individual’s needs and symptoms. However, most treatment plans involve regular check-ins with a therapist to discuss progress, goals, and medication if needed.

For more information on the relationship between addiction and mental health and the treatment options that are right for you, contact Evoke Wellness Ohio’s team today at 866.430.9267.