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Understanding the Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health

Man considering the link between addiction and mental health

Addiction and mental health issues often go hand in hand. If someone is struggling with addiction, they may also be dealing with another mental health issue. This common occurrence is why some individuals must get mental health and addiction treatment simultaneously. Call 870.657.0337 to speak with someone from Alleviant Health Center’s knowledgeable and experienced team about the link between substance abuse and mental health, as well as information on our dual diagnosis treatment programs.

How Are Addiction and Mental Health Linked?

There is a strong link between alcohol or drug abuse and mental health. Abuse can lead to addiction, and addiction can cause mental health problems as well as exacerbate existing ones.

Alcohol or drug abuse can bring on various psychological issues, such as:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts

It can also make certain conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia worse or trigger them if they lie dormant in the individual’s genetic makeup. When addiction and another diagnosable mental health condition develop together, it is often called a dual diagnosis case.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis Case?

A dual diagnosis case occurs when a person suffers simultaneously from an underlying mental health issue and a substance use disorder (SUD). In these cases, treating both conditions is essential because one can worsen the other if not appropriately and simultaneously addressed. For example, suppose someone has an anxiety disorder that isn’t treated while they are using drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. In that case, their anxiety will only become worse over time due to their substance abuse.

How do alcohol or drug abuse and mental health issues affect each other? Alcohol or drug abuse can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety because long-term drug use changes brain chemistry, affecting mood regulation. Conversely, mental health issues can lead to alcohol or drug abuse because people may use substances to cope with their symptoms. This is why dual diagnosis treatment is necessary—it ensures that everyone who needs help gets it for their addiction and any co-occurring condition they may be struggling with simultaneously to achieve a healthier life despite both problems.

Treating addiction without addressing any underlying mental health issues or vice versa typically won’t lead to long-term sobriety or positive outcomes in terms of overall emotional well-being. Dual diagnosis treatment will ensure that all aspects of the person’s condition are being addressed correctly so that successful outcomes can occur in a healthy manner over time instead of simply masking symptoms with drugs or alcohol.

What to Expect from Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Arkansas

Dual diagnosis treatment typically involves psychotherapy sessions designed to identify any underlying causes of addiction, such as trauma or unresolved grief. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients learn new coping mechanisms other than substance use when faced with difficult situations or feelings of distress or discomfort. Medication management is also available depending on each individual’s needs to address any underlying psychiatric illnesses that may be present alongside addiction, such as depression. Alleviant Health Centers of Jonesboro’s typical dual diagnosis treatment programs often include the following:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Aftercare planning
  • Relapse prevention strategies

Dual diagnosis treatment is the best way to address addiction and other mental health issues. At Alleviant Health Centers of Jonesboro, we understand the connection between addiction and mental health and offer comprehensive programs to treat both conditions simultaneously.

Find Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Arkansas at Alleviant Health Centers of Jonesboro

While there is no single “cure” for addiction or other mental health issues, dual diagnosis treatment provides individuals with the tools they need to manage co-occurring conditions effectively to live healthier lives. Mental health and addiction treatment, combined, can help free patients from dependence on drugs or alcohol while still having ways of dealing with potentially challenging emotions. If you live in Arkansas and are looking for help for co-occurring mental health problems, contact Alleviant Health Centers of Jonesboro today at 870.657.0337 and ask about how we treat substance use disorders and mental health issues simultaneously for patients with dual diagnoses.