The Link Between Mental Health And Addiction

The interconnectivity of mental health and addiction is incredibly profound. Many people diagnosed with mental health also struggle with addiction and vice versa. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately half of all individuals who struggle with addiction also struggle with mental health. Abusing drugs can often increase symptoms of various mental health disorders like depression, psychosis or anxiety. Conversely, people with pre-existing mental health disorders may use substances to help cope with the effects of their mental health problems. 

Moreover, research suggests there are several factors that may contribute to the development of mental health and addiction problems. Firstly, there’s genetic predisposition. Studies estimate that 40-60% of an individual’s vulnerability to addiction comes from genetic factors. Additionally, people who have experienced physical or emotional trauma are more likely to develop a Substance Use Disorder. Properly diagnosing mental health disorders and addiction is incredibly difficult because symptoms often overlap. For that reason, it takes a highly trained individual to properly diagnose individuals and treat Substance Use Disorders. 


What’s Comorbidity And How Do I Treat It?

The term comorbidity or co-occurring is the diagnosis for 2 or more diseases occurring in a single individual. As highlighted above, the complexity of symptoms and underlying factors makes it incredibly difficult to accurately diagnose. Fortunately, there are several therapeutic treatments that help stimulate recovery for individuals struggling with a wide variety of diagnosis. Below are a handful of evidenced based techniques commonly used in the treatment community.

The first type of treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This helps people identify emotions, thought patterns and perspectives to help them change their behavior. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) focused on emotional regulation, mindfulness, healthy communication and distress tolerance. The goal here is to help people resolve conflicting ideas or thoughts. Lastly, is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR). This practice is one of the most utilized therapies for helping people overcome and work through their trauma. These are just a handful of the most commonplace therapeutic techniques in use today. We highly recommend you conduct more research on your own to learn more about these and other treatment practices.

Our program is designed to help treat individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders. We understand the complexity and prevalences of Substance Use Disorders and mental health. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact our team today to learn how we can help!