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Mental Health Problems and Substance Abuse

A person that has a mental health problem like bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression, and a substance abuse issue is said to have a co-occurring disorder. The condition is also known as dual diagnosis. Dealing with alcoholism, substance abuse, or drug addiction is hard enough for most people. But, struggling with a mental health problem and addiction is worse.

When a person has co-occurring disorders, addiction to alcohol and drug addiction, as well as, mental health problems have unique symptoms. These can hinder the ability of a person to function properly at school or work. Relating to others, handling life challenges, and maintaining a stable home life becomes difficult. By affecting each other, co-occurring disorders complicate the situation.

In most cases, an increase in drug or alcohol abuse increases mental health issues. But, anybody with a co-occurring disorder shouldn’t feel alone. Co-occurring disorders are common than some people think. They are some of the reasons why people search for the phrase ‘rehab near me’ online Rehab is a place where drug addiction problems are addressed. Some facilities help individuals with co-occurring disorders recover from both mental health issues and addiction.

Mental Health Issues and Substance Abuse Statistics

Research has shown that drug abuse can lead to mental illness symptoms. Similarly, mental illness can cause drug abuse. And overlapping factors like early exposure to trauma or stress, genetic vulnerabilities, and underlying brain conditions can cause both mental illness and substance use disorders.

Statistics reveal that:

  • About 50% of people with serious mental disorders have a substance abuse problem too.
  • 37% of people abusing alcohol and 53% of those abusing drugs have a serious mental problem.
  • Of all individuals that have been diagnosed with a mental illness, 29% abuse drugs or alcohol.

When ignored, mental health and substance abuse problems get worse. Nevertheless, a person with co-occurring disorders shouldn’t feel helpless. By searching for ‘drug rehab near me’ online, they can find a facility that will give them the treatment and care they need to regain control over their life.

What Comes Before the Other?

Mental health disorders and substance abuse are closely linked. While substance abuse may prolong psychotic reactions, one may not always be the direct cause of the other.


  • Drugs and alcohol have often been used together to self-medicate mental health issues symptoms.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can increase any underlying mental disorders’ risk.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can worsen mental health problem symptoms.

Signs of Co-occurring Mental Health Issue and Substance Abuse

Diagnosing a co-occurring mental health issue and substance abuse is not easy. Teasing out a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug abuse problem can take time. Symptoms of these conditions differ based on the type of abused drug and the mental health issue. For instance, marijuana abuse and depression signs can look different from those of alcohol abuse and schizophrenia. Nevertheless, co-occurring disorders have general symptoms that should prompt a person or their loved ones to search for the phrase ‘drug rehab centers near me’ online.

These include:

  • Use of drugs or alcohol to cope with bad feelings or memories, to control mood intensity or pain, to face frightening situations, or just to remain focused on the task at hand.
  • An existing relationship between mental health and substance abuse such as getting depressed after drinking alcohol.
  • Having a family member that grapples with drugs or alcohol abuse, as well as, a mental disorder.
  • Feeling anxious or depressed even when sober.
  • Having an unresolved history of alcohol or substance abuse or even trauma.
  • Having a history of previous treatment for a mental health issue or addiction and complications from either of the two led to treatment failure.

Denial complicates dual diagnosis. This is very common in most cases of substance abuse. Many people are unlikely to admit that drugs or alcohol are affecting their lives. And denial occurs in people with mental disorders too.

Research has shown that the unique features of patients with dual diagnoses make confronting denial difficult. What’s more, insisting on their abstinence might not be an effective approach. Nevertheless, counselors and loved ones should focus on treatment even when the patient is unable to abstain from alcohol or drug abuse.

Signs of Substance Abuse

It’s not easy to conclude that a person has a substance abuse problem. However, several signs should prompt a person to search for the phrase ‘drug rehabs near me’ online to get help. Essentially, a person has a drug use or drinking problem if they answer yes to one or more of these questions:

  • Do you feel that you should reduce your drug use or drinking?
  • Have you been unable to cut back after a previous attempt?
  • Do you live about how often or how much you use drugs or drink alcohol?
  • Do you use prescription medication faster than recommended or expected?
  • Has any family member or friend expressed their concerns about how you use drugs or drink alcohol?
  • Do you feel ashamed, bad, or guilty about your drug use or alcohol consumption?
  • Have you regretted something you said or did while high on drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you consumed alcohol or used drugs and blacked out?
  • Do you have relationship problems that can be attributed to drugs or alcohol use?
  • Has drug use or alcohol consumption landed you into legal problems or work-related troubles?

If you answered yes to these questions, you need help with your substance abuse problem.

Treatment for Mental Health Problems and Substance Abuse

An integrated approach is the best co-occurring disorders treatment. This entails treating both mental disorders and substance abuse simultaneously. Regardless of what came before the other, getting treatment for mental disorder and substance abuse at the same time will influence long-term recovery. Therefore, patients should not just search for ‘drug counseling near me’ online. Instead, they should look for a facility that takes an integrated approach to treat co-occurring disorders.

That’s because mental health problem treatment may include group or individual counseling, medication, peer support, and lifestyle changes. Substance abuse treatment, on the other hand, can include detoxification, management of withdrawal symptoms, support groups, and behavioral therapy. But, regardless of the situation of a patient, there’s always hope for a sober, healthier, and happier life.

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