The Connection Between Drug Addiction & Mental Health: A Dual Diagnosis


When substance abuse and mental health issues occur side by side, it is known as a Dual Diagnosis. It sometimes goes unnoticed that one problem might be the cause of the other but the truth is that mental health issues sometimes lead to substance abuse or the other way round!

According to medical experts at Lantana Recovery, Charleston, addiction makes changes to the brain which leads to mental health disorders and sometimes, to cope with the mental issues, people turn to drugs.

Mental illness and addiction are deep rooted into each other and should be dealt with extreme care in order to not make things worse. Based on our research and expert opinion, we’re explaining the link between mental illnesses and substance abuse problems.

And of course, if you or your loved one have a mental health issue, it could be worth checking out the rehab centers in Portland Oregon as they are some of the best in the country, and you deserve the best care you can find!

Link Between Mental Health Issues and Substance Abuse

Both the disorders have their own unique symptoms along with some prominent common ones.

And to make things worse, they both amplify each other. The signs are often ignored as just effects of addiction that will go away once a person is out of rehab. But that’s not how it works. People with addiction often develop severe anxiety, depression, psychosis, and paranoia.

This is why it is really important to look out for symptoms and treat them accordingly. 

Once a person is done with rehab, they can make mental health their priority by signing up for an outpatient treatment center, where they will get post-rehab therapy to help them eliminate addiction induced mental health disorders.

Common Symptoms In Addiction And Mental Health Disorders

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Distant behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Trouble focusing
  • Hallucinations

These are some of the common symptoms for both drug addiction and mental health disorder.s It is important to know that the relation between mental health and drug abuse is important.

Alcohol And Drug Abuse Increase Risk Of Developing Mental Health Disorders

If you have not been previously diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but have been using drugs and alcohol for a long time, to the point of addiction, it is most likely that you have either recently developed, or unearth a previously suppressed mental health disorder.

Even though drugs seem to give a calming effect for a short time, in the long run, they can worsen the same thing you were trying to get away from.

For example, a person can fall into an inferiority complex that others are doing better than them and they’ll never be as good as their friends are at everything once they leave rehab, which leads to social anxiety. This social anxiety and being lonely will further increase the risk of relapse.

And this cycle can continue unless the problem is identified and dealt with. 

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is not often made on time. Some symptoms you can look out for yourself or a loved one are:

  • Using alcohol to cope with depression or mood swings.
  • Using drugs to ease situations that make you nervous
  • Getting depressed or anxious after drinking 
  • Feeling restless while sober 
  • Trying to cut back drinking but couldn’t 
  • Using too much prescription medicine
  • Lying about drinking or using drugs
  • Not being able to focus at work
  • Lost of interest in hobbies
  • Feeling tired even after resting well
  • Sudden outburst of anger or sadness

These are the most common symptoms that a person needs a dual diagnosis.

But it is very common for people to be in denial at first. It is not easy to admit that you have become dependent on drugs to help with your depression and don’t know how to back away from it. A lot of people avoid rehab to avoid feeling ashamed in front of their family and friends. But it is important to know that health comes first. 

Treatment For Dual Diagnosis

Getting help from a mental health expert besides rehab is really important. Because if any underlying mental health conditions go untreated, a person has a risk of a relapse. 

Meditation induces calmness and builds resistance. So meditating is also a good way of dealing with addiction induced mental health disorders. Besides that, sober companionship and sober coaching can guide a person’s way through post-rehab anxiety and panic disorders.

Having a helping hand and someone to motivate you is always really helpful. 

It would be unavoidable that there would be misunderstandings and would lead to legal confinement. To keep them secure, you can contact a Baker Act attorney to safeguard them from being sent to a mental health facility unwillingly.

Only rehab centers and professional therapists can treat a dual diagnosis effectively. Many people have the symptoms but fail to notice that it might be more than just a drinking problem or a seasonal depression. 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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