Becoming sober from drugs and alcohol involves much more than simply detoxing and stopping use. Some would say, that is the easy part. The most important part of the recovery journey is to receive therapy for the mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of it. Mental health conditions can influence the use of substances, so receiving both substance abuse and mental health treatment at the same time is crucial for long-term sobriety. Keep reading for more on substance abuse, mental health treatment, and alcohol treatment centers as well as when to get help.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment: Underlying Causes
According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse. In addition, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness, and, of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse alcohol or drugs.
With such high numbers, it is no surprise that substance abuse and mental health treatment should go hand-in-hand. Mental health conditions are one of the underlying causes of substance abuse, so treating both at the same time ensures the best chances of long-term recovery.
The cycle of substance abuse and mental health looks like this:
- The individual has a mental health condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed. This can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, schizophrenia, trauma, and more.
- The individual seeks relief, knowingly or unknowingly. Self-medicating with substances to temporarily relieve symptoms of the underlying condition occurs. Symptoms can include intrusive thoughts, wanting to be more outgoing in social situations, seeking acceptance from peers, getting sleep, or stress-relief.
- The underlying condition worsens. Although the individual may experience temporary relief due to the large amount of dopamine that is released, the withdrawal will cause the underlying condition to ultimately become worse than before.
- The individual takes even more substances to achieve the same relief. This stage is when tolerance, dependence, and addiction occurs. In order to break this cycle, treatment of both the mental health condition and the addiction need to take place so that one does not exacerbate the other.
How Can Substance Abuse Lead To Mental Illness?
Some of the many side effects of substance abuse include mental illness conditions. If a mental illness condition is already present, this condition worsens exponentially. Substance-induced mental illnesses include:
- Substance-induced delirium
- Substance-induced persisting dementia
- Substance-induced persisting amnestic disorder
- Substance-induced psychotic disorder
- Substance-induced mood disorder
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder
- Hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder
- Substance-induced sexual dysfunction
- Substance-induced sleep disorder
What Drugs Most Negatively Affect Mental Health?
Chronic use of drugs and alcohol can negatively affect mental health in many ways. In particular, these drugs can play a serious role in leading to, or worsening, mental health issues such as paranoia, depression, anxiety, aggression, hallucinations:
- Prescription Drugs
- Steroids (appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs)
Is Taking Drugs A Mental Illness?
In short – yes. Drug addiction is classified as a mental illness by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The stigma surrounding drug addiction is that it is a behavioral issue. Questions such as, “Why don’t you just stop?” or “Why are you choosing substances over your family?” are easy to ask when a loved one is in the throes of addiction. However, drug addiction is not a matter of choice. At a certain point, even as quickly as after the first use, the brain becomes rewired to require the drugs. Otherwise, severe withdrawal symptoms will occur.
When to Get Help
- Have you tried to cut back or quit your substance use, but are unsuccessful?
- Do you lie about how much you use?
- Are you using more and more?
- Have your loved ones expressed concern?
- Do you experience severe mood swings?
- Do you feel depressed or anxious while you are sober?
- Has someone in your family experienced mental health and/or substance use issues?
- Have you previously been treated for a mental health issue?
About Seasons in Malibu
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you likely need substance use and mental health treatment at one of the best luxury alcohol rehab centers to help you through. Getting sober along is almost impossible — especially with a co-occurring mental health issue. We can help you.
Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative, and client-centered. Our philosophy is grounded in the understanding that in order for the client to heal, the entire system needs the opportunity to heal along with them. We help treat:
- Anxiety Disorders (OCD, PTSD, GAD)
- Complex Trauma
- Bipolar Disorders
- Grief and Loss
- Career and Family Stressors
- ADD AND ADHD
- Substance Abuse
- Sex Addiction
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- And More
Individuals who complete our mental health treatment program are overwhelmingly happy with the results of the care they receive here. More than ninety-five percent of them say they would refer a loved one or family member seeking mental health treatment to us. We believe the fact that clients overwhelmingly recommend us is proof of the quality of treatment and compassion new clients can expect when coming to The Beach Cottage at Seasons in Malibu.
With our superior team of clinicians, we are able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus and tackle the symptoms of alcoholism that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive and committed.