The Link Between Addiction and Mental Health Disorders
Studies show that co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders often go hand-in-hand. It’s common for those struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions to use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate their symptoms. Over time, this can lead to alcohol addiction or drug abuse. The challenge then becomes how to help the person manage the addiction when the co-occurring mental health disorder can be such a strong trigger for substance use. When both addiction and a dual disorder exist, co-occurring disorders treatment may be needed to support an individual through full recovery.
The key to treating co-occurring disorders and addiction is integrated care – treating both conditions at the same time, in a way that acknowledges the effect that each condition has on the other. Whether addiction came first, or the co-occurring disorder is an underlying factor, making sure that co-occurring disorder treatment supports the management of both disorders is necessary to achieve abstinence and recovery.