Mental health concerns are common among people suffering from drug abuse and addiction. The tie between mental illness and addiction is so strong that substance abuse can actually lead to mental health conditions. In fact, the reverse is also true. Mental illness can lead to substance abuse, as individuals unknowingly self-medicate through drugs or alcohol. Crestview Recovery offers treatment for primary mental health concerns with or without a co-occurring substance use disorder. Contact 866.262.0531 to learn more about mental health treatment and our dual diagnosis treatment program.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
A dual diagnosis is a healthcare professional’s identification of both mental health disorders and addiction in one person. The person abusing drugs or alcohol may have depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, or other mental illnesses. Together, a mental health problem and addiction are co-occurring conditions.
People with co-occurring conditions may turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve or cover their symptoms of mental illness. When the substance they abuse wears off, they feel their mental health symptoms cause them to feel unbalanced. As a result, they use drugs or alcohol again to make them feel more stable. The problem is that their lives become anything but more stable, with the co-occurring conditions, each making the other worse.
The only way for anyone with co-occurring conditions to have lasting recovery is to gain dual diagnosis treatment from a quality rehab center. By treating both problems at once, mental illness and addiction are controllable. If you treat only one condition, the other will simply drive you right back to the cycle of mental illness and substance abuse.
Other patients know they have a mental condition. Sadly, they still abuse drugs or alcohol anyway, even when they’re taking medication for their mental health problem. These people often abuse drugs or alcohol because their medications have undesirable and uncomfortable side effects. Many times, they begin abusing other drugs to try to relieve themselves of those effects.
If you have one or more mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, you need to find someone that offers depression treatment and anxiety treatment for your mental health problems. Otherwise, you may experience addiction relapse even after recovery in rehab. It’s critical that you go to drug and alcohol addiction treatment that treats dual diagnosis patients.
Drugs and Alcohol Can Cause Mental Health Disorders
There are drugs that can cause mental illness by changing brain chemistry. Good examples are meth and ecstasy. Much of this chemistry is responsible for mood and behavior. Damaging those areas of the brain through repeated substance abuse can lead to conditions like depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses.
Your genes, the environment in which you live, past trauma you’ve experienced, and other factors can combine with drugs and alcohol to make mental illness worse. If you’re at risk for conditions like depression, schizophrenia, or PTSD, taking drugs or drinking will only make your condition much worse.
Using drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health symptoms can be dangerous. It’s important to find other healthier ways of coping if you’re dealing with any type of mental illness. Talk to professionals if you need help. Taking action now is the best way to get yourself back on track.
It’s also important to remember that if you are taking medications for mental health, using drugs and alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of those medications. It’s important to discuss any substance use with your doctor so that he or she can make sure you’re getting proper treatment. Keeping your doctor in the loop will help you have the best chance of recovery.
Drugs and alcohol can have serious, long-term consequences on your mental health. It’s important to be aware of this risk before you choose to use drugs or drink alcohol. If you are struggling with a mental illness, seek help from a professional and get treatment as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Self-Medication
Clients with a mental illness often self-medicate using drugs or alcohol. When those substances are no longer available, their symptoms of mental illness become even more pronounced. As an example, anxiety makes many individuals jumpy and stressed. Depression causes people to sleep too much, retreat to their own space, become emotional and avoid others.
The sad reality is that the self-medication of drugs and alcohol does not adequately address these mental health problems. Instead, they impede the development of healthy coping skills and make the problems worse, including:
- Difficulty maintaining employment
- An absence of healthy relationships
- Increased risk of physical health issues
People with a dual diagnosis may also stop having healthy relationships and feel less confident in their abilities. In addition, when individuals know they have a mental health concern, it is especially important to avoid using recreational drugs. Drinking or taking drugs interferes with doctor-prescribed medications and can cause even more extensive mental health issues.
Do You Have Co-occurring Conditions?
If you’re abusing drugs or alcohol, you may wonder if you have a co-occurring condition of mental illness. It’s quite possible that you do. However, these conditions can be difficult to diagnose when substance abuse intertwines with mental illness. Healthcare professionals at a quality addiction treatment center can help you understand your mental wellness and whether you have a co-occurring condition that requires treatment.
If you do receive a dual diagnosis, you need treatment for both conditions at once. You won’t be able to experience a true, strong recovery without proper treatment. If you ignore your mental health condition, you’ll likely relapse into addiction.
But where can you get dual diagnosis care for addiction? In the Pacific Northwest, Crestview Recovery provides comprehensive dual diagnosis rehab programs for patients with addictions to drugs or alcohol.
If you or someone you love need complete recovery, call Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon now at 866.262.0531 for more information about available programs. By getting the treatment you need, you can break free of the cycle of co-occurring conditions. Break free for good by calling Crestview Recovery now.