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Mental Health and Substance Abuse: The Tight Connection

Over the years, drug and rehab specialists have worked to understand the connections between mental health and substance abuse. These two concerns often form a tight-knit abuse cycle that can be hard to escape. That’s why we at Atlantic Recovery Center prepared this article. Read through it to learn more about the connection between these problems and the ways that you can manage them with drug rehab.

The Connection Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental health and substance abuse have long had a tight connection. Researchers quickly discovered that one of these issues could easily lead to the other. For example, a person with mental health troubles could turn to drugs. Often, this abuse is a type of self-medication. Depressants like heroin or marijuana can temporarily decrease depression symptoms but ultimately cause addiction.

Likewise, drugs could worsen the symptoms of or even cause some psychological concerns. For example, a person may have worse anxiety when abusing methamphetamine. Even worse, drug use often creates what is known as a co-occurring disorder. This problem happens when one or more mental health diseases occur alongside addiction. Each problem worsens the other to create an awful abuse cycle.

Perhaps that is why more than one in four adults with mental health problems abuse substances. And why so many inpatient rehab centers have dedicated psychologists on staff. These professionals can help to manage these problems successfully. Before going to rehab, though, it is essential to know what kind of psychological issues may worsen addictions.

Common Psychological Issues That Trigger Addiction

Over the years, researchers have pinpointed a few of the most common psychological problems that may worsen or cause addiction. These issues typically decrease self-control and may make a person desperate for relief. Sadly, they may turn to illicit drugs instead of professional help. Just a few problems that can trigger substance abuse include:

  • Depression – People may turn to drugs to temporarily manage their depression symptoms
  • Anti-social disorder – Some turn to drugs as a way of rebelling against society
  • Anxiety – Depressants help to decrease anxiety symptoms shortly
  • Bipolar disorder – Drugs may provide a false sense of stability for those with bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia – Altered perceptions may trigger drug abuse in many individuals
  • Borderline personality disorder – Those with this disease often abuse drugs to calm their symptoms

As you can see, mental health and substance abuse often co-occur in misguided attempts at self-medication. Unfortunately, drugs are only going to worsen a person’s mental health problems. As a result, it may be necessary to enter a residential treatment program. This treatment option can break the hold of drug addiction and manage mental health problems at the same time.

Symptoms of These Co-Occurring Disorders

Mental health and substance abuse typically trigger a myriad of different symptoms. For example, some start struggling at work or school because they cannot focus. Others get into fights with friends or family members or even strangers. Sleep troubles, mood swings, and suspicious behavior may all occur with a dual diagnosis.

However, physical changes may also be symptomatic of this problem. Expect weight loss or weight gain, bad smells, an aged appearance, loss of hair, loss of teeth, slurred speech, and troubles walking. Typically, a person with these issues betrays them by degrading dramatically physically. Unfortunately, addiction is often quite potent at this point and may be hard to manage.

Other symptoms include changes in friendship groups, alienation with loved ones, legal problems, financial issues, and romantic conflicts. Thankfully, treatment can help manage this problem. By working with high-quality professionals, you can walk away from addiction and mental health problems for good.

Beating Addiction for Good

If mental health and substance abuse affect you or a loved one, please call us today at 1-866-824-5193. We at Atlantic Recovery Center staff high-quality and caring experts who have your best needs in mind. Our small residential program is intimate, friendly, and encouraging. And our clients come from all walks of life, which could help you make new friends and sobriety partners. So please verify your insurance to start on the path to recovery. We will fight to ensure that you beat addiction for life.