- What is the connection between substance abuse and mental illness?
- Prevention of substance abuse and mental illness
- Symptoms of substance abuse
- Symptoms of mental illness
- Dual Diagnosis
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Bottom line
Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse and mental illness. Abuse of any substance including alcohol and illicit drugs refers to substance abuse. A person with a substance abuse disorder shows a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and psychological changes. There are people who not only suffer from substance abuse but struggle with a mental illness too. A person with substance abuse is more likely to have mental health problems like depression and anxiety. It is very difficult to predict which problem came first because a mental problem can trigger substance abuse and vice versa. Hence there is a strong link between substance abuse and mental illness. You can also check our mental health blog.
What is the connection between substance abuse and mental illness?
A person diagnosed with both substance abuse disorder and mental illness is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. An individual with a mental illness, abuse one or more substances and a person with a long-term substance abuse disorder develop a mental illness. There is a strong connection between these two problems and when one problem left untreated its worsens the other. As per reports, 50% of individuals with severe mental illness are affected by substance abuse and 60% of alcohol or drug abusers have a mental illness. It is very difficult to diagnose substance abuse and co-occurring disorder. The treatment process is also very complicated, but there is hope. There are plenty of addiction recovery treatments and addiction prevention treatments available for persons with a dual diagnosis.
Prevention of substance abuse and mental illness
Prevention of substance abuse(alcohol, drugs, OTC products) and mental illness( anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder) can be a daunting task. In order to prevent both problems, it is essential to understand the symptoms of each disorder. By knowing the symptoms and behavioral patterns of each disorder, a unique prevention treatment can be given for individuals struggling with both substance and co-occurring disorders. Here below in this blog, we have individually mentioned the symptoms, diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness.
Symptoms of substance abuse
The following are the common signs and symptoms of substance abuse:
- Insomnia and loss of appetite.
- Red, watery eyes, and pupils dilated.
- Poor physical coordination and slow walk.
- Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
- A drastic change in activities and hobbies.
- Excessive need for privacy and suspicious behavior.
Symptoms of mental illness
The following are the common signs and symptoms of mental illness:
- Loss of interest and a persistent feeling of sadness.
- Constant suicidal thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.
- Excessive worry and fears
- Poor concentration
- Withdrawal from people and lack of motivation
Try to focus on your loved one, if you find anyone of the symptoms relevant to them just absorbs for other few. If you found them suffering from any of the addiction or they have a co-occurring disorder, try to get help from the nearby addiction or mental health treatment centers. Knowing these signs and symptoms of the disorders Dual Diagnosis treatment can be provided for the individual suffering from both substance disorder and co-occurring conditions. Dual diagnosis is one of the addiction recovery treatments aimed to reduce the harmful effects of the substances in the victim’s body and mind.
When a person experiences both substance abuse disorder and mental illness simultaneously then it is called a dual diagnosis. These conditions occur together frequently and people tend to seek alcohol or drugs to feel better with their mental problems. People also self-medicate to get relieved of their drug-seeking behaviors. A mental problem can trigger substance abuse and chronic substance abuse can lead to mental problems. Sometimes the mental problem occurs first or substance abuse. It is very difficult to identify, which problem has occurred first and it depends on the individual to cooperate with the treatment process to find the exact cause of the disorder.
Dual diagnosis treatment
Dual diagnosis treatment can be complicated as the person tends to show multiple symptoms of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The treatment should be implemented with extreme care as one symptom of the disorder worsens the other. Integrated intervention is needed as the treatment should address both the disorders. The dual diagnosis treatment process varies and it depends on the condition of the individual. However here are common dual diagnosis treatment plans.
Try to choose the rehab centers who offer treatment for both diagnoses, since many recovery centers are not equipped to handle dual diagnosis patients. Since it is a complicated issue and needs to be taken extreme care with psychiatric staff and all the necessary requirements for the treatments. When both the mental illness and substance abuse were treated under the same roof it has a lot more benefits in absorbing the reaction of an addict and provide timely help for the suffering. It will also leverage a kind of relaxation for the addicts and makes them comfortable to stay in a single place for these dual recoveries. This meant to be very successful according to the previous survey. This is definitely not a day’s task it requires many months to be fixed, initially a few months as an inpatient and a few months as an outpatient, in order to protect yourself from relapse.
Detoxification is the common treatment procedure for any kind of addiction treatment. This is the process of removing toxic substances from the body due to long-term substance abuse and to stabilize the patient. Detoxification treatment should be medically supervised as the victim may develop withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms can be irksome and the person experiences unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the type of substance abused. There are two types of detoxification, medical and natural. Detoxification is the first step towards addiction recovery treatment and a person has to follow the other treatment options to attain a sober life.
Staying healthy throughout the detoxification process is a must since it involves you to have lots of energy initially to get out of addiction. Try to have more healthy and protein-rich foods, moreover, the addicts who were recovering have more avid towards sugar. In that case, try to intake more natural type of sugars from fruits and fruit juices avoid taking anything which is artificial. Staying hydrated is one of the major things while a person is recovering from addiction, try to have more water, fluids to make yourself hydrated throughout your recovery process. Avoid taking fatty and high cholesterol food items which lazies your digestion process. Proper diet throughout your detoxification and recovery you to stay fit and keep all your organs healthy and makes you more positive.
Inpatient rehabilitation also called “residential addiction treatment” where the patients reside inside the facility center and receive 24/7 care. This type of treatment is meant for those with severe substance and co-occurring disorders. Inpatient treatment programs are intensive and the treatment programs last from 30-90 days. The treatment programs include therapies, 12 step programs, counseling, family sessions and motivational interviewing. You can choose your treatment centers near you if you feel that you are in need that someone who could help you to recover from addiction. There are a variety of treatment centers available and they provide you with a list of treatments so that you can pick the best kind of treatment whichever you are interested in. Relapsing is common during the addiction prevention treatment, so there is no need to be panic and it’s usually for everyone, even the experts say it is a symptom to get recovered faster and the chances of falling back again will be very low. These inpatient rehabilitation centers also provide aftercare support with their counseling and other alignments to help the patient recover completely from their addictions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a psychotherapy treatment that focuses on changing the thinking or behavior patterns of the addicted person. It is also referred to as “talk therapy” where a therapist will help the patient recover from his disorders. Sometimes speaking out and sharing will help us a lot in coming out of these situations. These counselors won’t make you take the decision, whatever they feel right, they will try to heal the situation by saying all the positive effects and how to deal with those kinds of situations in your future. They are there to heal your wounds and give your soul mindfulness, this paves a great way in enhancing your mental health. CBT is very effective in treating mental health disorders as the root cause of the mental illness is identified and rectified. This therapy provides two to three sessions with the therapists, where the patient learns about overcoming the negative thoughts, managing the symptoms of mental illness, overcoming emotional trauma, and the skills needed to achieve a sober life.
Prevention of substance abuse and mental illness is essential to achieve a completely sober life. Do remember relapsing is very common during an addiction recovery treatment. A relapse doesn’t necessarily mean failure. Accepting relapses and working toward the recovery with patience and dedication will help overcome substance and mental disorders.