There is an unmistakable connection between mental health conditions and substance use disorder. It’s not surprising that many people who have a mental health condition also experience substance use disorder. It’s critical to remember that mental disorders from drug use are not uncommon.
The Drug Use And Mental Health Link
In many cases, it can be difficult to separate the timeline of substance use and mental health disorders to determine which came first. Regardless, if you are suffering from mental disorders from drug use or if you had mental health issues prior to using drugs, these conditions must be taken seriously on their own merits. In addition, any treatment must integrate both conditions in order to provide the individual with the best chance of recovery.
Co-Occurring Disorders: What You Need To Know
An individual who has both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition is said to have co-occurring disorders. It might also be noted that they have a dual diagnosis. Both conditions have their own unique symptoms that must be addressed in order to help you create the life you want.
Another concept that you need to understand is that mental health disorders and substance use disorders often affect each other directly. If your mental health disorder is not being treated appropriately, it can lead to an increase in substance use and abuse.
The opposite can be true as well. When your abuse of alcohol and/or drugs increases, the result can be an increase in mental health concerns as well.
Can You Get Mental Disorders From Drug Use?
For people who are already at risk for developing a mental disorder, a substance use disorder could increase the likelihood of one occurring. It’s important to remember that mental health disorders — like substance use disorders themselves — are complex conditions that often don’t have any clearcut answers.
Mental health conditions are often the result of a combination of genetic factors, the environment, and other components. There is evidence that abusing certain substances can lead to an increased risk of developing a mental health disorder. This risk tends to increase with heavy use.
For example, an individual who abuses opioids painkillers or heroin can often experience an increased risk of depression. Heavy users of marijuana could see a boost in their risk of psychosis.
Diagnosing Co-Occurring Conditions
Getting an official diagnosis of any co-occurring issues between substance use and mental health conditions is the best choice. However, you can take note of how you or a loved one acts when someone is using or abusing substances. Be aware that different people will have different signs of mental disorders which depend on numerous factors.
The following are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:
Relationship between mental health and substance use
Take note of how you feel when you are using drugs and/or alcohol. For example, when you drink, do you get depressed? Are you more anxious when you’re using opioids?
If you have a family history of either mental disorders, substance use disorder, or both, you could be more likely to experience a dual diagnosis yourself.
Mental state when sober
Make a note of your mental state when you are completely free of any mind-altering substances. If necessary, keep a journal over a period of several days or longer. Doing so can help you determine any patterns that can point to a connection between the two.
Establishing the presence of a dual diagnosis early in the treatment process greatly increases the chances of a successful recovery. Promises Behavioral Health offers individualized treatment programs. We comprise each treatment plan with a variety of our expansive services such as:
- EMDR therapy
- Cognitive processing therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- craniosacral therapy