According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives. The likelihood that the same person struggles with substance abuse is equally as high, also one in four.
The connection between mental health and substance abuse has long been documented in studies over the years — making it increasingly important to understand that connection and why it occurs.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
There is no black and white explanation as to what may occur first, mental health disorders or addiction. In reality, one can lead to the other or vice versa. There are several cases in which people can develop what is known as co-occurring disorders.
Substances are Used to Self Medicate
When someone struggles with a mental health issue, such as anxiety, depression, or panic disorders, they seek out ways to cope with the resulting feelings. For example, those with depression may use stimulants to feel more “alive,” while those with social anxiety may drink to feel more comfortable around larger groups of people.
While this may begin as occasional self-medication, a person can spiral into full-blown addiction as time goes on and they continue using.
Addiction Puts People at a High Risk for Mental Health Issues
As a person continues to fall deeper into the throes of addiction, the side effects of drug or alcohol use can have a big impact on their mental health. Certain drugs, such as Xanax or opioids, often cause the user to feel depressed, while other drugs, such as stimulants, can lead to panic disorders.
Additionally, the large life effects of substance abuse, such as financial struggles or serious health issues, can cause a person to develop anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue.
Addressing Mental Health Disorders & Addiction in One Cohesive Program
Mental health disorders and addiction often go hand in hand, which is why it’s critical that rehab centers offer dual diagnosis treatment programs. At Mount Sinai Wellness Center, we have several programs that help patients address behavioral health problems
To learn more about how we can help you improve your mental health and battle your addiction, contact us today at (800) 353-4673.