Understanding the Connection Between Mental Health and Addiction

Many times, the connection between substance abuse and mental health is a case of the chicken or the egg. Did the substance abuse begin because of emotional or mental strain, or has the alcohol or drugs led to mental health issues? Both situations could be true.

People who struggle with substance abuse may use drugs or alcohol to combat the symptoms and side effects of mental health problems. When you’re seeking help for a substance abuse problem, it’s important to find a dual diagnosis rehab that is prepared to treat addiction and mental health problems simultaneously.

Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder

Addiction is one disease; mental unwellness is another. For many, they’re two distinct problems that are, nevertheless, wrapped up in each other.

  • A mental health disorder can be exaggerated by substances.
  • Mental instability can preexist before substance abuse or addiction.
  • Substances may be used to self-medicate for a mental health issue.
  • Substances may increase anxiety or depression.

Dual diagnosis treatment is used to address substance abuse and addiction, as well as mental health disorders such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sex addiction
  • Gambling addiction

Understanding Dual-Diagnosis Rehab

A holistic, dual-diagnosis rehab facility acknowledges that more than one condition is in play –a person could have alcoholism, depression, drug addiction, anxiety, or other mental health problems all at the same time. After withdrawal and detox, a complete diagnosis is made.

Holistic rehab is not a band-aid for one problem while another is solved–it is a place designed to develop full-body wellness through recovery from addiction and any other threats to a person’s health. Identifying whether a client has an authentic mental health disorder or a substance-induced mental health problem is critical, so a customized treatment plan can be developed and addiction and mental health disorders can be treated simultaneously.

The Importance of Treating Two Diseases Together

Substance abuse can alter brain function, and this chronic disease can lead to a powerful, negative combination of a mental health disorder and addiction. Constant depression, anxiety, dread, worry, or fear is debilitating. It’s easy to understand why someone would look for ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of these feelings and replace them with happiness and calm.

When alcohol or substances enter the system, they combine with the brain to temporarily block the negativity emanating from it–but the escape doesn’t last long, and dependency can begin, leaving a person with an addiction that is enabled by a mental health problem.

A dual-diagnosis rehab treats the core of addiction to avoid a return to substance abuse. If you believe that you or a loved one suffer from a substance abuse problem and mental health condition, get help from our holistically focused dual-diagnosis rehab. Call today at 866-349-1770 to connect with a trained admissions counselor.