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Dealing with an Addiction and Mental Health Disorder at the Same Time

A substance use disorder coupled with one or more mental health disorders can have serious consequences. In order to take hold, the rehabilitation process for individuals with a dual diagnosis in Ohio must be clinical, educational, and therapeutic.

Those with co-occurring disorders will get specialized treatment from our board-certified medical and therapeutic experts, who will collaborate to appropriately diagnose and treat underlying mental health illnesses that may otherwise provide a barrier to treatment and recovery.

man who needs dual diagnosis in Ohio

The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

The treatment of all existing mental health diseases should be integrated when treating someone with co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction.

Co-occurring psychiatric conditions, often known as dual diagnosis, arise when a person fits the criteria for a drug use disorder while also being diagnosed with one or even more additional mental health issues.

Drug users may develop one or more symptoms of another mental illness. Marijuana users, for example, are more likely to develop psychosis.


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Mental diseases can lead to drug or alcohol addiction because some people use drugs to self-medicate. Nicotine in tobacco products, for example, has been demonstrated to improve cognition and lessen particular symptoms of schizophrenia.

The Link Between Mental Disorder and Substance Abuse

SUDs and other mental health diseases have a significant connection. In fact, over half of persons with one illness will develop at least one other co-occurring mental health disease throughout the course of their lives.

Co-occurring disorders might make each other’s severity worse. Researchers have discovered three plausible causes for why co-occurring diseases are so common:

Self-Medicating

As a coping mechanism, experiencing mental disorders can lead to drug dependence and abuse.

This approach is sometimes referred to as “self-medicating,” but the word may be deceptive since, while substance use might conceal symptoms, it can also aggravate them.

Overlapping Genetic Risk

Substance use disorder (SUD) and other mental health disorders have a lot of risk factors in common.

These factors can include both heredity and biological influences, such as trauma exposure, which might make a person more susceptible to acquiring mental health disorders and SUDs.

Drug-Induced Neurologic Conditions

Substance abuse can alter parts of the brain that are affected by mental illnesses, increasing the risk of acquiring symptoms of a mental disease that affects that brain.

The parts of the brain that are impacted by drug abuse appear to be linked to regions that are also linked to mood and anxiety problems.

How Do Drugs and Alcohol Affect Mental Health?

Alcohol and drugs alter the way your brain and body function. They alter the chemical equilibrium in your brain, affecting your ability to think, feel, create, and make decisions.

Because illegal substances affect the body in different ways and change from person to person, they can have diverse side effects and consequences on mental health. It’s difficult to tell how someone will respond to a particular drug.

Drugs and other substances impact the brain’s communications and function by interfering with the chemicals in the brain. This can affect your mood, which can lead to the beginning of the development of mental health problems.

Other mental health diseases, such as schizophrenia, depression, mood disorder, or impulse-control disorders, can cause alterations in the same regions of the brain as drug use.

As a result, drug use before the onset of symptoms of a mental health issue or disease might alter brain structure and function, thus increasing the chance of developing a mental health disorder.

man depressed and turning to alcohol needs dual diagnosis in Ohio

What Leads to Mental Illness and Substance Abuse?

Now that we’ve established that mental illness and substance usage are linked, let’s see why. When one’s mental condition isn’t in what’s considered normal, it’s called mental illness. Any ailment that produces serious disturbance in a person’s behavior or thinking is referred to as a mental sickness. Situational reactions are more likely to be unbalanced or out of the ordinary.

Substance Abuse Signs and Symptoms

The following are some of the most often abused substances:

Prescription medications: opioid painkillers, ADHD meds, and sedatives

Recreational or street drugs: marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine

Alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, and liquor

However, the type of drug you take or the kind of alcohol you consume has no bearing on whether you have a substance misuse issue.

It all boils down to how your drug or alcohol usage affects your life and relationships. In summary, you have a substance abuse issue if your drinking or drug usage produces problems in your life.

Co-Occurring Disorders Symptoms

It can be challenging to distinguish the difference between addiction and mental disorder at times, significantly when their symptoms often overlap.

mental health diagnosis should be established while a person is abstinent and without medications in their system to minimize confusion.

While the symptoms of each mental health problem vary, there are specific common signals that indicate the likelihood of mental disease. These are some of them:

  • Hobbies or favorite pastimes abandonment
  • Inability to recognize changes in one’s behavior
  • Suffering from unknown physical pain
  • Frequently feeling scared with no apparent reason
  • Having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
  • Taking part in high-risk activities such as drug abuse or promiscuity
  • Experiencing extreme emotional peaks
  • There is a lack of concern about personal hygiene
  • Suicide ideation or suicide attempts
  • Loss of touch with reality
  • Experiencing hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions
  • Increased frustration
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Self-isolation

Treatment for a Co-occurring Disorder

An integrated strategy to treating co-occurring illnesses is the most effective since it treats both the drug addiction issue and the mental disorder simultaneously.

Getting therapy for both illnesses by the same treatment provider or team is critical for long-term recovery, regardless of whether your mental health or drug misuse problem started first. Depending on the nature of your problems:

Medication, individual or group therapy, self-help methods, lifestyle modifications, and peer support may be used to treat your mental health condition.

Detoxification, withdrawal symptom management, behavioral therapy, and support groups may all be used to treat your substance misuse.

group therapy dual diagnosis in Ohio

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Assistance for Dual Diagnosis in Ohio

Patients are welcome to visit our dual diagnosis treatment center in Ohio. It’s time to get treatment if you’re weary of battling co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders. We’re ready to assist you in taking the next step toward sobriety and mental health, no matter where you are in your recovery.

Do you want to find out more about our dual diagnosis treatment facility? You can reach out to our admissions team by calling 614-470-2658 or submitting an online inquiry. Our treatment can assist you if you suffer from addiction and mental disorders.

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 1-614-471-2552

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Please note: For medical emergencies, please call 911. For other urgent matters, please call our admissions line (614) 471-2552. Submissions after-hours, weekends, or holidays may experience a longer response time.

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