Substance abuse and mental health relationship

The Connection Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

substance abuse and mental health relationship

Substance use disorders are associated with various mental health problems. Learn about why this happens and how you can deal with it. This study examined the latent structure of a number of measures of mental health (MH) and mental illness (MI) in substance use disorder. Addiction and mental health have a very close relationship. Mental health disorders make it easier to develop a substance abuse disorder.

It has been documented that use of alcohol and other drugs can worsen the psychiatric symptoms and even induce re-emergence of the symptoms among those who are in remission. Substance Abuse May Be an Attempt to Escape the Symptoms of Mental Illness The self-medication hypothesis of drug use among patients with psychiatric disorders states that individuals with psychiatric disorders may attempt to reduce their 'tension' by using psychoactive substances.

For example, those with social anxiety disorders may resort to alcohol use in order to address the anxiety experienced while interacting with others. Similarly, individuals experiencing distressing symptoms such as auditory hallucinations may use substances to avoid the distress.

substance abuse and mental health relationship

Some individuals also report the use of psychoactive substances in order to manage the adverse effects associated with psychiatric medicines prescribed for the treatment of the underlying mental health condition. Self-medication in anxiety disorders has been associated with a substantial risk of developing a substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is suffering from a mental health condition that has caused their drug use to spiral out of control, or alternatively, drug use is causing depression or anxiety, you need help today.

Our treatment support providers can help you find a treatment program that addresses both conditions simultaneously, please call Who Answers? Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Share a Common Cause There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders might share a common etiology.

substance abuse and mental health relationship

It has been postulated that common genetic factors might be shared across the psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders. For example, a common genetic susceptibility may explain dopamine dysregulation in substance abuse and mental illness.

Various environmental factors are also shared across psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues

Early childhood trauma, stress and early exposure to psychoactive substances have been identified as predisposing factors for both psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders. Similar brain regions have also been implicated in the development of psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders. Neurological mechanisms involved in stress response and dopaminergic regulation have been identified as precipitating factors in both psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders.

Substance Abuse and Mental illness Maintain Each Other While psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders can co-occur as independent disorders in the same individual, in a subset of a dually diagnosed population these two sets of disorders also contribute to the maintenance of each other.

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  • What is the link between substance abuse and mental health?

Nearly 1 in 5 military service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Recent studies find that almost half of all veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD also have a substance use disorder.

Women are more likely than men to seek help from mental health providers for a co-occurring disorder, while men are more likely to seek help through substance abuse treatment providers. Some substance abuse treatment centers have a potentially harmful bias about using any medications, including those needed to treat mental illnesses, such as depression.

Many treatment centers do not have staff members who are qualified to prescribe, monitor, or dispense psychiatric medications. Unfortunately, the care necessary to treat these conditions is often lacking within the criminal justice system. It takes a well-equipped, professional treatment facility to properly diagnose and treat dual diagnosis disorders. Those who have both a substance use disorder and another mental health disorder may exhibit symptoms that are more severe and treatment-resistant than those with only one or the other.

substance abuse and mental health relationship

Anyone who is potentially struggling with both addiction and mental health issues should be thoroughly assessed for the presence of a dual diagnosis and treated accordingly. Some treatment facilities today offer specialized dual diagnosis treatment.

The first step is often detox. Detoxification is the set of interventions used to manage substance withdrawal. Depending on the drug that the individual is detoxing from, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Once you are stable enough for treatment, you may begin your addiction treatment; often this involves moving into a rehab center.

You will undergo an intake assessment with a staff member. A physical examination and psychological assessment will be conducted. Treatment for any pertinent medical and mental health issues will be incorporated into your rehabilitation plan. Appropriate management of both mental health issues and addiction will increase the chances of sustained recovery.

The human element of recovery from mental illness and addiction - Apryl Pooley - TEDxMSU

To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being. Adopt healthy eating habits.

Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day.

substance abuse and mental health relationship

Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more stressed or anxious. Getting enough healthy fats in your diet can help to boost your mood. A lack of sleep can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression, so try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night.

Mental Health and Drug Abuse -

Develop new activities and interests. Find new hobbies, volunteer activitiesor work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. Avoid the things that trigger your urge to use. If certain people, places, or activities trigger a craving for drugs or alcohol, try to avoid them. This may mean making major changes to your social life, such as finding new things to do with your old buddies—or even giving up those friends and making new connections.

Group support for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders As with other addictions, groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges. Sometimes treatment programs for co-occurring disorders provide groups that continue to meet on an aftercare basis.

Your doctor or treatment provider may also be able to refer you to a group for people with co-occurring disorders. These free programs, facilitated by peers, use group support and a set of guided principles—the twelve steps—to obtain and maintain sobriety.

Just make sure your group is accepting of the idea of co-occurring disorders and psychiatric medication. Some people in these groups, although well meaning, may mistake taking psychiatric medication as another form of addiction. You want a place to feel safe, not pressured. Helping a loved one with a substance abuse and mental health problem Helping a loved one with both a substance abuse and a mental health problem can be a roller coaster.

Resistance to treatment is common and the road to recovery can be long. The best way to help someone is to accept what you can and cannot do.

You cannot force someone to remain sober, nor can you make someone take their medication or keep appointments.

substance abuse and mental health relationship

Make sure you're getting the emotional support you need to cope. Talk to someone you trust about what you're going through. It can also help to get your own therapy or join a support group.

Be realistic about the amount of care you're able to provide without feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Set limits on disruptive behaviors and stick to them. Letting the co-occurring disorders take over your life isn't healthy for you or your loved one. Recovery is an ongoing process and relapse is common.

Ongoing support for both you and your loved one is crucial as you work toward recovery, but you can get through this difficult time together and regain control of your lives.