The Connection Between Substance Use and Mental Health Conditions
The Reason Why Mental Health Disorders Are Co-existent with Substance Use
Research has shown that there is a high prevalence of comorbidity between addictions and anxiety disorders. These are characterized by generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder or Post-traumatic stress disorder.5-9 Substance abuse disorders also occur in high frequency with mental disorders like bipolar and depression disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 6,9-11 (ADHD),12,13 psychotic illness, 14,15 borderline personality disorder, as well as antisocial personality disorder.10,15 Patients suffering from schizophrenia experience greater prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related issues than the overall population.17 In Figure 1 that the relationship is more prominent in cases of the serious illness (SMI). Mental illness that is considered serious among those aged 18 or older is recognized by the federal government as being a person who has at any point during the last 12 months diagnosed mental, behavioral or emotional condition that leads to significant functional impairment that hinders or restricts the ability to perform one or more important life-related activities. Mental illnesses that are serious include depressive, psychotic, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders that result in grave impairment.18 About 1 in 4 patients suffering from SMI also suffer from SUD.
The results of a large national sample indicated that those with mental personality, or drug use disorders are at greater risk of using non-medical prescription opioids.19 The study found the fact that 44 percent of those who are in SUD treatment for non-medical use of prescription painkillers carry an indication or diagnosis of mental health problems including depression and anxiety.20
While addiction and use of drugs can occur at any time in a person's life the majority of drug abuse occurs at the age of adolescence. This is in which the first symptoms of mental illness usually show up. Comorbid disorders are also observed in youth.21-23 As they transition into young adulthood (age between 18 and 25 years old) People with comorbid illnesses require an individualized support system to help them manage the changes in work, education and relationships.21
Brains continue to grow throughout the adolescent years. The brain's executive functions, like decision-making as well as impulse management are the first to develop, which increases the risk of drug abuse and the formation of a substance-use disorder.3,24 Early use of drugs is a significant risk factor for the development of disorders involving substance use, and it can be a risk factor in the development of mental illnesses.25,26 But this connection isn't necessarily causal and may be due to the common risk factors, such as the genetic vulnerability, psychosocial experience and/or general environmental factors. For instance, regular smoking marijuana in adolescence could raise the likelihood of developing psychosis at the age of adulthood, particularly in those with an inherited gene variant.26,27
The mental health and addiction issues affect people of all kinds of backgrounds and different ages. These disorders are prevalent or recurring, and can be severe, but they are treatable , and many individuals recover. Mental disorders can cause changes in mood, thinking or behavior. They may affect our relationships with other people and make decisions. The point at which a person is able to be officially diagnosed is often contingent on a decrease in the ability of a person to function because from the condition. For instance:
The coexistence of mental health condition and a drug addiction disorder is known in the context of co-occurring diseases. National Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Information page has details on particular disorders and conditions as well as the symptoms.
Drugs and alcohol are frequently utilized to treat symptoms of mental illness. Alcohol or other drugs to alleviate the symptoms of a mental disorder that is not diagnosed in order to deal with challenging emotional states, or to temporarily improve their mood. However, self-medicating using drugs or alcohol can cause side negative effects, and, in the end, often worsens the issues that they originally helped relieve.
The tendency to deny is prevalent in both the mental and physical health problems. It is often difficult to admit the extent to which you depend to alcohol or other drugs or how they impact your daily life. In the same way, the signs of illnesses like bipolar disorder, and PTSD are frightening which is why you might want to ignore them hoping they will go disappear. You may also be embarrassed or fear of being seen as weak when you acknowledge you're suffering from a condition.
However, mental health problems can happen to anyone. Being able to admit you have an issue and seeking help can be the very first thing you do towards recovery.
The most effective treatment for co-occurring disorders is a holistic method, in which both the substance abuse issue and mental illness are addressed in tandem. If your mental health issue or addiction problem was a result of substance abuse first, your long-term recovery is contingent on receiving treatments for the two disorders with the same provider or team. Based on the specifics of your case:
Be sure the program you choose to use is certified and licensed. The treatments are backed by scientific research and an aftercare program in place to avoid the possibility of relapse. In addition, you must ensure that the facility is experienced in treating your specific mental health problem. Certain programs, like could have experience in dealing with anxiety or depression, but not bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.