Experts recognize that drug and alcohol abuse and mental disorders often go hand-in-hand. So is it possible to prevent substance abuse disorders through mental health screenings?
Substance use and mental health issues usually interact in one of two ways: by exaggerating the symptoms of the mental health disorder or by counteracting them.
For example, someone struggling with depression may find their symptoms are intensified by the use of alcohol (a depressant). Drinking alcohol can make them feel hopeless, sluggish, or even suicidal. By exacerbating those symptoms, the individual may begin to feel so disengaged with life that they continually return to alcohol and sink deeper into depression and addiction.
However, other individuals may self-medicate their depression with the use of a stimulant like cocaine. Such stimulants fight the most common symptoms of depression by making the person feel more alert and energetic. However, once that high wears off, the depression symptoms can come crashing back, making it more difficult for that individual to cope with their emotions. This cycle encourages repeated use of the stimulant and can lead to addiction.
In both cases, an existing mental health disorder facilitates the growth of the individual’s addiction. Some believe that early screenings for mental health issues, proper diagnoses, and treatment from mental health professionals can help prevent individuals with these disorders from self-medicating and becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.
A lack of mental health disorder awareness and treatment resources can make it difficult for an individual to get the care that they need. Although many addiction treatment programs, including Pyramid Healthcare’s, offer dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder tracks to address their client’s existing mental health issues, addressing these disorders early on may decrease the likelihood of addiction.
Visit www.howdoyouscore.org to take a free mental health and substance abuse screening today.
Many Pyramid Healthcare facilities offer dual diagnosis or co-occurring treatment, as well as mental health treatment.
If you believe that you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and mental health issues, call Pyramid Healthcare at (888) 694-9996 to begin the treatment process. We can help you find the road to recovery.
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