The Close Link Between Addiction and Mental Health

link between Addiction and mental health

Substance use disorder (SUD), whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, is a complex condition that negatively affects one’s physical and psychological well-being.

It often comes with one or more disorders that are related to substance abuse combined with one or more mental health problems that are independent of each other. This co-occurring disorder needs proper and highly individualized treatment. Ideally, it should not be treated as a cluster of symptoms that are related to addiction. Proper treatment calls for battling two enemies on two fronts with the right ammunition.

Because co-occurring conditions usually involve patients who are undergoing medically-assisted treatment, it’s important that the condition is diagnosed and managed by medical professionals along with certified substance abuse specialists.

What Statistics Tell Us

The rates for SUD and mental health co-occurring conditions surged in 2020. The spike in cases was largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2020 statistics, an estimated 6.7% (17 million) adults aged 18 and above had co-occurring AMIs (any mental illnesses) and an SUD. Another 2.2% (5.7 million) of American adults had co-occurring SMIs (serious mental illnesses) and an SUD. 

While these numbers may be higher than average due to the global health scare, numbers from 2018 show that there were 9.2 million adults who were diagnosed with co-occurring conditions. It was and continues to be a threat that assaults and disrupts our lives as a society. 

Mental Disorders That Usually Coexist With SUD

Here are some of the common mental and behavioral disorders that co-occur with SUD either on their own or in combination with one another:

  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic Syndrome Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

One or a combination of these mental disorders may either be the cause or the effect of substance abuse. Sometimes, it could be genetic among patients who are more predisposed to it compared to others. Some genes running in families may be a risk factor for co-occurring disorders while others simply exhibit SUD and its usual symptoms. 

External factors such as trauma or stress may even be passed down through generations, putting a family member at risk especially if it’s compounded by their own traumatic experiences. Cumulative trauma or a number of high-stress events over a period of time is another risk factor.

The Genesis House Way

Genesis House, a family-owned and run treatment and recovery facility, offers dual diagnosis treatment for patients with co-occurring disorders. Its interdisciplinary team provides comprehensive treatment programs based on diagnoses from its expert psychiatrists and clinical team.

Dual diagnosis treatment in Genesis House offers treatment and recovery programs that are delivered by veterans who have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with various mental disorders. With its family-oriented atmosphere, certified addiction professionals and licensed clinicians, psychiatrists, and nurses integrate evidence-based modalities during treatment. 

Whether it’s anxiety, depression, or PTSD, they treat the diagnosed patient with respect, patience, and empathy while delivering suitable programs for those with co-occurring conditions. Our team works full-time to provide dedicated and professional treatment that is as effective as it is engaging. 

Dual-diagnosis treatment is accepted by most major medical insurance providers, making it a realistic option for those looking for a nurturing recovery and rehabilitative facility.

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