Woman in dark at window suffering with mental health disorders and substance abuse.In 2014, there were 20.2 million adults who had a substance abuse disorder. Out of this number, 7.9 million adults also had mental health disorders. Mental health and substance abuse disorders often occur among the same people. For the substance abuse disorder to be treated, patients also have to get help for their mental health disorders as well.

How Are Mental Health Disorders Connected to Substance Abuse?

When someone has mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, they may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Alcohol and drugs only temporarily fix the underlying problem, so the individual has to use again to feel normal.

Once someone realizes they have an addiction, they go to a treatment center to get help. Unfortunately, quitting drugs is not enough. If the mental health disorders do not receive treatment as well, the patient is likely to relapse. They previously used drugs to self-medicate, so they need an alternative treatment to help treat the mental illness.

The Reasons Co-Occurring Disorders Exist

There is a high rate of mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. They do not cause each other to happen, although each disorder can fuel the other. There are several reasons why both disorders occur at once.

  1. A drug addiction can cause symptoms of a mental illness. Some drugs cause hallucinations or psychosis, so the drug addiction may cause the mental illness.
  2. Mental health disorders can increase the chance of drug abuse. Individuals who have a mental disorder may self-medicate using drugs or alcohol.
  3. Underlying brain disorders, early exposure to trauma and genetic predispositions can make it more likely that someone develops both disorders.

All three of these factors are the reasons why someone who has an addiction may also suffer from a mental illness. To treat an addiction, individuals also have to receive treatment for the underlying mental illness at the same time.

How Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Works

Addiction treatment centers can help with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment focuses on diagnosing and treating both problems. If only one problem gets treatment, then the individual cannot truly recover.

In a comprehensive treatment program, patients are given one-on-one therapy and group support. They may be given medication to treat the psychiatric disorder as they go through rehab. Other therapy options may be offered, including:

The best treatment facilities offer dual-diagnosis care for patients. Initially, patients stabilize during detox. Afterward, they begin the rehab process. Patients attend therapy for co-occurring disorders so that they have the best chances of maintaining their sobriety.

Rather than draw a line between psychiatric problems and an addiction, both issues receive treatment as part of a continuum. At the best treatment centers, clinicians have had training in treating co-occurring mental health disorders. As patients go through the treatment process, they get effective treatment for both disorders.

Finding Individualized Treatment Options

There are many different treatment centers available. The best ones offer individualized care. With individualized treatment programs, patients get the exact blend of therapies they need to recover. Every person is different, so they need a treatment plan that is just as unique.

The first step is realizing there is a problem. Once patients recognize they need help, there are addiction centers available that can help. Initially, patients begin the detox process to rid their body of drugs and alcohol. Afterward, they begin therapy and other treatments during rehab. With the right treatment, patients can enjoy a better chance of staying sober over the long haul.

No one deserves to live with the pain and stress of an addiction. If you or a loved one has an addiction, help is available. To find out how dual diagnosis can help your recovery, call Beaches Recovery today at 866.605.0532.