Bad Mental Health Can Lead to Addiction
Substance abuse and mental health are very closely interlinked. More than one out of every four American adults who are currently living with a serious mental illness simultaneously struggles with substance abuse. There are many reasons why these two conditions are closely related, and though the specifics will vary on a person-to-person basis, the following factors should be considered.
- Individuals who struggle with untreated mental illnesses tend to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. Rather than continue experiencing the symptoms associated with their mental illness, they attempt to alleviate these symptoms with chemical substances. However, this only exacerbates the symptoms, ultimately worsening the mental illness over time.
- Some chemical substances can lead to symptoms associated with mental health problems over time. For example, an individual who has been abusing alcohol for years (which is a chemical depressant) might begin to experience symptoms associated with chronic depression. An individual who has been repeatedly abusing methamphetamine might develop severe anxiety and depression – symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder.
- Both mental illness and substance abuse share common underlying and contributing factors, like genetic predisposition, the physical composition of the brain and brain chemistry, unresolved trauma, and repetitive exposure to high-stress situations.
If you have been struggling with a co-occurring disorder, you are certainly not alone. Because substance abuse and mental illness are so prevalent, most reputable treatment centers offer Dual Diagnosis treatment programs.
Mental Health and Addiction – Facts and Statistics
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health recently reported that roughly 45 percent of all men and women who enter into a treatment program for an addiction simultaneously suffer from a mental health condition of some severity. Below are several additional statistics and facts related to mental health and addiction.
- In 2012, there were roughly 8.4 million American adults who had a diagnosed, co-occurring disorder
- Men and women who become physically and psychologically dependent on drugs are over two times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder
- Men and women with severe mental illnesses are over four times more likely to abuse alcohol or engage in regular binge drinking
- Men and women with mental illnesses are over five times more likely to use nicotine
- An estimated 70 percent of mental illnesses begin during early childhood or adolescence
- Young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to experience co-occurring disorders than individuals in any other demographic
- Men abuse chemical substances more frequently than women, though women have higher rates of diagnosed anxiety and mood disorders
- People with a mental health condition are twice as likely to abuse chemical substances than members of the general population
- Homelessness is a predictive factor for both substance abuse and mental illness
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options
Up until recently (in the mid-1990s) substance abuse and mental health were treated separately – in separate facilities and by a separate team of professionals. The good news is that many treatment centers now offer Dual Diagnosis treatment options, seeing as the link between the two conditions has become exceedingly clear. Agape Treatment Center has a licensed and experienced staff made up of men and women with combined decades of hands-on experience in the fields of mental health and addiction, and they have developed an integrated treatment program unlike any other.
Agape Treatment Center and Co-Occurring Disorders
Agape Treatment Center offers a comprehensive and highly individualized Dual Diagnosis treatment program for men and women of all ages who struggle with addiction and mental illness. Some of the mental health conditions we are well-versed in treating include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and other behavioral and personality disorders.
If you have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition but have been experiencing symptoms, we have licensed psychiatrists on-staff who conduct detailed evaluations upon admission to our program. If you do have a co-occurring disorder, you will be placed in our specially designed Dual Diagnosis track, and you will meet regularly with an experienced psychologist. For more information on our integrated treatment approach, reach out to us at any point in time.