Exploring the Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Mental Health

It’s quite common for someone who’s struggling with mental health issues to also find themselves battling substance abuse. Luckily, professional help is available to help those dealing with these issues heal and live a fulfilling life going forward. Discover more about the relationship between substance abuse and mental health to gain a better understanding of the illnesses and treatment options.

Self-Medicating A woman sitting at a desk with her head in her hands

One reason someone with a mental illness may also find themselves dealing with substance abuse is because they treat it as a way to self-medicate. Someone may feel so lousy emotionally and mentally that they turn to substances for a mood boost. The problem is that these sorts of highs don’t last for long, and the person will soon return to how they were feeling before drinking or doing drugs. Unfortunately, a new list of problems will often emerge if the mental illness goes untreated and the person continues to self-medicate.

Rehab and Recovery Options

The good news is that there’s help out there for anyone who finds themselves battling a mental illness and substance abuse. It’s best that everyone involved take the time to educate themselves on substance abuse programs and how they can be beneficial in the recovery process. Rehab with a dual diagnosis focus is often the most useful way to treat a patient who has a mental illness and is abusing drugs or alcohol. This way, both disorders can be treated simultaneously and the person can start the healing process.

Life After Treatment

The most important part of treatment is that the patient learns new coping skills for daily life. The reality is that they’ll be faced with difficult situations and will need to know how to nurture their mental health and keep away from harmful substances. Mental illness and addiction don’t simply disappear one day. A diagnosis of either or both will require ongoing treatment and management to help the patient reduce their symptoms and increase their quality of life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness or addiction, explore the resources at the Cranston Substance Abuse Task Force. We focus on helping young adults in Rhode Island rehabilitate from substance abuse. Contact us to begin the healing journey today.

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