Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are also diagnosed with other mental disorders. Compared to the general population, people with substance abuse problems are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. About 37 percent of individuals with alcoholism and 53 percent of individuals with drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Which Comes First? Mental Illness Or Substance Abuse?
With such high rates of mental disorders in people with addictions, it’s important for treatment centers to address both problems. It’s unknown which comes first, but research suggests the following:
- Drug abuse may bring out symptoms of mental illness. For instance, the risk of paranoia or psychosis with certain drugs can create anxiety problems.
- Mental disorders may lead to drug abuse. People dealing with anxiety or bipolar depression may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and temporarily alleviate their symptoms.
When seeking recovery, the goal is to treat both substance abuse and the underlying mental disorder with dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona.
What Causes Mental Health Disorders?
Since substance abuse and mental health disorders are closely related, it’s natural to be concerned about what causes these problems. You may feel that you have more control over addiction because abstinence can prevent it. But what about mental illness? Do you have the same control?
There is no single cause for mental health disorders. Research suggests that they are caused by a mix of psychological, biological and environmental factors.
- Genetics: Mental illness sometimes runs in families, suggesting that people with a family history of mental illness may be more at risk. Research suggests that susceptibility is passed down through certain genes, which are then triggered by traumatic events, stress or abuse.
- Psychological: Some mental illnesses may be triggered by some type of trauma such as abuse or neglect or a significant loss early in childhood. If the issue isn’t dealt with, it can lead to negative thought patterns.
- Environmental: How a person is raised also contributes to the onset of mental illness. Certain stressors – a death, divorce or dysfunctional family upbringing – can create an unstable environment that triggers a mental disorder in someone who is already at risk.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
When a person is diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and substance abuse, they are said to have a dual diagnosis. It’s important to choose a treatment center that is experienced in diagnosing and treating dual diagnosis cases if you suspect both problems are present. Only a licensed mental health professional can give an accurate diagnosis.
The River Source works with dual diagnosis patients. We provide integrative care that includes detox, counseling and a sober living environment. Each patient receives individualized care that addresses mental health disorder and addiction.
Call Us Today To Start You Or Your Loved One On This Incredible Life-Changing Path!