For many individuals, addiction and mental illness are very closely related. Too often they are treated as separate illnesses and their treatments can even be contradictory. The importance of coordinated health processes is becoming more commonly recognized by providers.
The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
There’s clearly a connection between substance abuse and mental health disorders, and any number of combinations can develop, each with its own set of unique causes and symptoms, as well as its own appropriate intervention and Dual Diagnosis treatment methods.
By far the most common issue connecting mental illness and substance abuse is the intention of patients to medicate the mental health symptoms that they find disruptive or uncomfortable by using alcohol and drugs.
Symptoms of One Disorder Trigger the Other
Often, certain drugs can create problems that trigger mental health symptoms. In other cases, substances can create mental health symptoms like paranoia, delusions or depression while the person is under the influence of the drug. When these symptoms last after the drugs wear off, then it can indicate a co-occurring mental health disorder.
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