Exploring the Connection Between Mental Health and Addiction

Exploring the Connection Between Mental Health and Addiction

Mental health and addiction are some of the most discussed topics in the health space, intending to raise more awareness about their co-existence. However, many people are still ignorant about the connection between mental health and substance abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals an estimated 43 percent of people in treatment for misusing prescription painkillers are diagnosed with mental health disorders. The data is proof of a high patient prevalence of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. 

Individuals with a dual diagnosis manage their addictive behaviors and deal with the impact of mental health disorders poorly. While Mental health and addiction can exist together, it’s yet to be ascertained if one is the cause or consequence of the other. Understanding the connection between these two conditions is essential for better recovery. This blog sheds more light on mental health and addiction, their relationship, and how to address them.

Resurge Recovery is a Cincinnati drug rehab that can help you or a loved one with comprehensive dual diagnosis therapy. Contact us today to learn more about how our treatment programs can help.

Understanding Mental Health and Addiction

When mental health and substance abuse occur or exist simultaneously, it’s a dual diagnosis. Just because they exist together doesn’t mean that one came before or after another. However, one can exacerbate the other, forming a web of interdependencies where addiction and mental health disorders feed off each other.

As mentioned, each condition can be a cause or consequence of the other. For example, addiction can cause a mental health issue and can also be the effect of a mental disorder. Many self-medicate to lessen stress and emotional pain. While creating temporary relief, they exacerbate their mental health condition, creating a cycle of dependence and frequent drug intake. 

Conversely, those with an underlying mental health disorder may use drugs as a coping mechanism. Due to this complicated, multifaceted connection, the treatment and recovery journey is delicate. Many individuals don’t think it’s possible to treat both conditions. The good news is both aspects can be treated simultaneously with the right approach.

Resurge Recovery is an outpatient rehab in Cincinnati that offers treatment for addiction and mental health. Speak to our admissions team today to learn more about our program.

Risk Factors That Contribute to Dual Diagnosis

The following factors can increase the likelihood of having a dual diagnosis:

The Genetic Factor

Mental disorders and substance abuse have genetic causes. It has been shown that bipolar can be hereditary, but not substance abuse. Individuals with bipolar may be suffering from trauma and may turn to drugs or alcohol to manage the symptoms and triggers.

Childhood Experiences

Childhood abuse and other inferior treatment may inflict trauma on the child when they transition into adulthood. These people are at much higher risk for substance abuse because they will seek ways to cope with their PTSD and its symptoms. Thus, they engage in drugs and alcohol.

Environment and Stress

The environment and genetics usually work hand-in-hand. Neighborhoods or residences can significantly increase the risk for co-occurring disorders. Your nature of work or school can cause prolonged stress that may impact areas of your brain responsible for motivation and learning, leading to lower behavioral control. In turn, this increases the compulsive use of drugs.

Treatment for Co-occurring Disorder

Treating dual diagnosis starts with understanding the connection between mental health and substance abuse. After this, the healthcare professional recommends the best approach. A more effective method for treating co-occurring disorders is integrated treatment. This involves addressing dual diagnosis using various addiction and mental health services. The aim is to support individuals in the best way to enable recovery.

The benefits of an integrated approach are immense. Firstly, it leads to a better recovery outcome, minimizes relapse, and enhances long-term recovery. Individuals can live a healthier and more balanced life if both conditions are treated simultaneously. An example of an integrated approach is counseling and therapy.

These options help patients uncover the root causes of their drug abuse and mental health problems and develop ways to combat them effectively. Counseling and therapy provide a serene environment where patients can talk about their issues; in turn, they get solutions to managing the triggers and challenges.

Therapy is readily available, but many patients treat the condition independently. One reason for this decision is stigma. People seeking mental health treatment are often stigmatized and looked down upon. These patients feel seeking treatment makes them weak, which is the opposite. Another barrier to treatment is a lack of awareness. Some people ignore the seriousness of dual diagnosis and think they can handle it. Open conversations, health workshops, and seminars should be held to enlighten people about these issues and encourage them to seek professional help, even in the face of stigma.

Schedule an Appointment with Resurge Recovery Now!

If you or know anyone with co-occurring disorders, contact Resurge Recovery at (855) 993-5241. We pride ourselves as a top-notch healthcare treatment facility concerned about an individual’s recovery. We provide integrated care programs like mental health counseling to address co-occurring disorders. Our experienced healthcare professionals ensure your needs are met and adequate care is provided to quicken recovery. We’ll work with you to develop an integrative and holistic treatment plan to foster recovery. 

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