There’s no denying that addiction and mental health disorders are connected. Both disorders share the same risk factors, and people who have been diagnosed with mental disorders often use substances to help them cope. When an individual is affected by both substance abuse problems and mental disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety, such condition is referred to as Co-occurring disorder or Dual diagnosis.

Co-occurring disorders are very difficult to cope with. Both mental health disorders and addiction issues have their unique symptoms. Each individual symptom affects the individual’s ability to function at school or work, relate with others and handle life’s problems. When both symptoms interact, the situation becomes much more complicated. Often, when a mental health condition is not treated, the substance abuse problem worsens and vice versa.

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders are more common than most people know. A common denominator between substance abuse and mental health issues is denial. It is often tough for individuals to admit they are dependent on drugs or alcohol or how much these substances affect their lives. Similarly, sharing about your struggles with mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD, or bipolar disorder can be terrifying; several people choose to ignore the symptoms of these disorders and wish they go away. However, ignoring these symptoms will most likely worsen your condition.

There are several things you can do to overcome these demons and hop on the road to delivery. One of these is reaching out to the right Didsbury Mental and Education Health Services. When you find the right treatment and support system, you can easily overcome a co-occurring disorder and reclaim your life.

What’s the Connection between Substance Abuse and Mental Health Problems?

When people think about the relationships and interconnections between substance abuse and mental health disorders, they often wonder which disorder comes first. Although both disorders are closely linked, in most cases, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. Below are a few ways substance abuse or addiction is connected to mental health disorders.

Substance abuse can increase the risk of mental disorders

Mental health disorders often result from a complex interplay of genetic factors, environmental factors, and some other factors; it’s hard to say that abusing drugs or alcohol can directly cause mental health problems. However, if a person is at risk of a mental health problem, abusing drugs or alcohol may trigger such a condition and push the person over the edge.

Drug and alcohol abuse can worsen symptoms of a mental health problem

Abusing drugs and alcohol can increase or aggravate symptoms of a mental disorder or activate new symptoms. Drugs and alcohol also interact with medications such as anxiety medications, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. They reduce the effectiveness of the medication and delay your recovery process.

Drugs and Alcohol are often used as self-medication for symptoms of mental health problems

People who have mental health problems often use drugs and alcohol to ease and manage the symptoms of their undiagnosed mental disorder. They also use these substances to cope with emotions, deal with life problems and lift their moods. Abusing drugs and alcohol has adverse effects in the long run and may worsen the symptoms they seem to relieve at first.

Treatment Plan for Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

The first and most important step to getting a great treatment plan for a co-occurring disorder is admitting you need help. This gives you the courage you need to Didsbury mental health services. According to professionals, the best treatment approach for co-occurring disorders is an integrated approach which implies that both problems are treated simultaneously. Treatment for a mental health condition may include medication, self-help measures, individual or group counseling, peer support, and lifestyle changes. For substance abuse problems, you should expect treatment like detoxification, withdrawal symptoms management, and support groups to maintain sobriety.

When looking for treatment for your disorders, finding the right treatment program is crucial. Whichever program you choose must be licensed and accredited to offer you such treatment. Ensure the program has resources to help treat your particular mental health issue. You can search for Didsbury Addictions and Mental Health Services in Alberta for reliable centers and problems you can choose.


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