You may be wondering why so many people who have substance abuse issues also struggle with an addiction (dual diagnosis).
This statement can easily be turned on its head and put in a different way: Why do so many people living with a mental health concern also struggle with substance abuse issues?
Mental Illness And Addiction
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 43.8 million adults over the age of 18 in the U.S. have some type of mental health issue. This figure represents 18.5 percent of adults in the country.
Some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health concerns are issues such as:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Personality Disorders
Turning To Substances
For people experiencing anxiety, depression, difficulty focusing, insomnia or other unpleasant symptoms, drugs prescribed to relieve symptoms or opiates for those experiencing physical pain, may be more easily abused.
Alcohol is an inexpensive, readily available and socially acceptable choice for someone who is experiencing mental health issues. At lower doses, it helps a person feel relaxed and “helps them to unwind,” while after only a few drinks it acts as a depressant. And in some people who are not depressed, heavy alcohol consumption can trigger a depressive episode.
Other drugs that people living with a mental health issue may abuse or become addicted to include marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. These individuals may be attempting to numb out thoughts or feelings they are experiencing and turn to drugs because they aren’t sure what’s going on inside of themselves and many times, are not aware they even have a mental illness. These individuals can be afraid to get help or don’t know how to access treatment services.
Individualized Treatment For Mental Illness And Addiction
The relationship between mental illness and drug abuse is undeniable. If you or a loved one is experiencing these health issues, proper treatment is crucial. At The Dunes East Hampton, our caring and experienced staff will create an individualized treatment plan to address both issues and focus on your specific needs and goals.
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To A New Life Of Freedom And Sobriety!