While one does not necessarily cause the other, there’s a strong connection between mental health issues and substance abuse. In fact, 50% of people who struggle with mental health disorders are also affected by addiction. If you or a loved one falls into this category, it’s not something that should be ignored — in fact, ignoring the problem can make it worse.

In order to address these co-occurring disorders, it’s important to understand the connection between mental health and addiction.

How Mental Illness and Substance Abuse are Linked

Substances are Used to Self-Medicate

Especially for those who struggle with undiagnosed or unaddressed mental health disorders, drugs and alcohol can be used to quell symptoms and unwanted emotions. However, by abusing these substances, a person may experience increased negative side effects.

Alcohol and Drugs Prolong Mental Health Disorders

As long as a young adult is using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorder, they are allowing their issues to linger as long as the symptoms are placated. When this happens, they won’t be able to properly address their mental health disorders and achieve a healthier state of being.

Mental Health Disorders Can Be Exacerbated by Substances

Anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders can be brought about due to a combination of environmental factors and genetics. When you add in the physical and psychological effects that drugs and alcohol can cause, a person may be put over the edge and be at higher risk for mental health issues.

Addressing Dual-Diagnosis in Pennsylvania

It can be difficult to diagnose co-occurring disorders since it may not be clear whether certain symptoms are related to a mental illness or substance abuse.

At Silvermist Recovery Center, we employ dual-diagnosis treatment that helps with the development of the skills, strategies, and techniques you need for successful long-term recovery from both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.

To learn more or to speak to one of our admissions counselors, please feel free to contact us at (724) 268-4858.