People with substance use disorders (SUD), commonly referred to as addiction or alcoholism, often have co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But which condition came first? When seeking treatment for one condition, it is important to have a plan to treat the other.
It might be difficult to determine which condition came first or is more prominent, but really, both need to be addressed while in treatment, as ignoring one will likely cause recurrence of the other. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, SUD is itself a form of mental illness.
About one in five adults in the United States experience some form of mental illness, and about 8.5 percent of adults have an SUD. Between 80 and 90 percent of those with SUD have co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common disorders among both adults and adolescents in the United States. About a quarter of teenagers have an anxiety disorder, which can result in poor performance in school and additional behavioral problems.
One belief is that SUDs begin when someone with a mental health disorder self-medicates with substances to cope with their condition’s symptoms, such as drinking alcohol when feeling sad, or using drugs in anxiety provoking social settings. Another idea is that substances such as alcohol and cannabis have been linked to developing mental health disorders that were previously non-existent, such as depression, mood disorders, and in the case of cannabis, mania.
Clinical depression, anxiety and PTSD are not, however, only symptoms of addiction. While removing substances that exacerbate mental health issues is necessary for treating your conditions, programs that focus strictly on recovery from addiction will not allow you to recover from mental health disorders, putting you at risk for the cycle of feeling out of control and unable to cope.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and/or mental health disorders, there is help. At Amatus Recovery Centers across the country we offer a full continuum of care from mental health residential drug and alcohol treatment. We offer medication management, long term group therapy.
The easiest way to recover from addiction and mental illness is to seek help. Call an admissions specialist today at 833-216-3079 to learn about our treatment options and determine which one is right for you.
Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health, offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. To learn more visit amatusrecoverycenters.com.