Mental illness and Addiction: What’s the Correlation?

Most times, mental illness and substance abuse are directly and indirectly connected to the other with adverse effects. Why should a person be drinking alcohol heavily when they are mentally ill? Neither degree of connection between those two terms is disputed by any informed party. The association between mental illness and substance abuse is most apparent to a layman and is also most visible to the professional. There are various types of mental illnesses with varying degrees of severity. Psychiatrists and substance abusers are mostly found in the same patient population. The underlying question is if there exists a relationship between Mental illness and addiction or simply put Mental illness and addiction: What’s the correlation?. A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published in the journal Science Focus showed a correlation between mental illness and the consumption of addictive substances. It was also noticed that individuals suffering from such mental health disorders are more likely to abuse drugs and also alcohol intake, including; 40 percent of cigarettes, 44 percent of cocaine, and 38 percent of alcohol.

Who Are Those That Suffer Most From Mental Disorders?

A report also states that most people suffering from mental disorders with medically diagnosed psychological disorders are those who consume alcohol and other drugs through addiction at the situation they may find themselves in their everyday lives, with the following proportion which is; 68 percent of cigarettes, 69 percent of alcohol and 84 percent of cocaine. It’s very common knowledge that substance abuse and mental disorders go hand in hand. However, the different combinations of causes and the symptoms can occur, leading to its own set of treatment options and Dual Diagnosis treatments. So, can you help your loved one make the best choice for dual diagnosis treatment?

The Question Is What May Lead to Mental Illness and Abuse?

Authenticated mental illness and substance abuse are related, let’s try to understand why. Mental illness is mostly present when one’s mental state is not in its deemed standard form. A mental disease may depict any condition which causes severe disorder in a person’s behavior or thinking. Reactions to these circumstances are more likely to be imbalanced or far from the norm. Some Examples of Mental Illnesses may Include:

  • Depression,
  • Eating disorders,
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
  • Dissociation,
  • Tourettes Syndrome,
  • Bipolar Disorder,
  • Mood Disorders.

Mental illness and substance abuse mostly occur when a patient takes medication, alcohol, or any toxicants without a prescription to attain the desired feeling. Most people abuse substances for recreational purposes. Once it is started on continuous use, they cannot do without regular doses. Most of these substances usually have addictive ingredients that can cause abuse, like Nicotine in Tobacco. Examples of Some Abused Substances are:

  • Pain Killer Medications,
  • Marijuana,
  • Alcohol,
  • Cocaine,
  • Heroin.

What are the habits found in Mental illness patients; Most patients seek various intoxicants or substances that can make them feel in control of their mental state. Unfortunately, hiding their mental illness from people, including your doctor, also makes substance abuse inherent.

What Is the Correlation Between Mental Illness and Addiction?

Candidly, dealing with substance abuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction is never easy, and it becomes more challenging when you’re battling with mental health issues. When you have mental illness and substance addiction, it is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. In co-occurring disorders, mental illness and substance addiction have peculiar symptoms that may limit the proper functioning of your body system in school or the workplace. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

20.6% of U.s adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people), representing 1 in 5 adults and 16.5 % of U.S youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people).

Taking Self-Medication

The correlation between mental illness and substance abuse is that most patients will seek out narcotics and alcohol to medicate their mental illnesses. Self-medication involves using available medications to self-diagnose and offer treatment without seeking the advice of a trained medical practitioner. People who are mostly depressed frequently use marijuana to block out those negative feelings. A person who consumes marijuana is more likely to feel euphoric or relaxed. In that case, it may help relieve depression. Understanding the risks associated with self-medication will help ensure that you or your loved ones get the best medical attention to prevent potentially dangerous outcomes.

Finding the Right Treatment Program

To get the right treatment for Mental illness and addiction, ensure that the program is appropriately accredited and that treatment methods are backed by research. Also, ensure that the program correlates with the particular mental health issue affecting you. For instance, there are different mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. There are also different approaches in the treatment program. First, although there is some basic effective treatment, you should endeavor to seek for. Treatment includes equipping you with basic education about your mental health and allied problems, setting measurable goals, and developing strategies for change.

Riverwalk Recovery Center Can Help Those Suffering From Mental Health and Addiction

There are corporate organizations that can help you or anyone you know who’s suffering from mental illness and addiction. You can contact the Riverwalk Recovery Center on  423-264-2600. The Riverwalk Recovery Center is a member of the renowned Harmony Recovery Group of Treatment Programs, which is open 24/7 for compassionate care for Mental illness and substance abuse. The prestigious Joint Commission accredits Riverwalk Recovery and is fully licensed by the State of Tennessee.

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