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Why Mental Health Matters in Addiction Treatment

At Durable Recovery Center, your mental health matters. We are proud to offer treatment for both substance abuse and mental health disorders as well as dual diagnosis. The connection between mental health problems and substance abuse is well established. Substance abuse and addiction have similar risk factors, and people with mental health issues are more likely to become substance dependent. In this post, we’ll explore the complex relationship between substance misuse and mental health problems along with what treatments are used to combat these struggles.

Why Mental Health Matters in Addiction Treatment

It is true that people with mental health problems are more prone to substance abuse than others, but not everyone with mental health problems will turn to drugs or alcohol. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that mental health conditions cause addiction—instead, they are risk factors.

Psychoactive substances affect your brain’s neurotransmitters that govern mood, desire, pleasure, reward, sleep, and other functions. These substances cause chemical surges that deplete your natural supply of these chemicals. Mental illness might be a result of altered levels of these crucial chemicals over time. Because of this, you might develop mental illness as a result of faulty decision-making, lack of motivation, and lack of enjoyment.

Many individuals struggling with mental health issues suffer from recurrent thoughts and emotions that make life unbearable. The individual is drawn into a self-destructive cycle when they are triggered by unwanted thoughts and feelings. Because they feel as if the substance is helping them, it is particularly difficult for them to acknowledge that it destroys their lives in the long term. To stop the cycle, you must find new ways to cope with triggers and focus on long-term solutions instead of temporary relief. Addiction and mental health services can assist you in selecting the best approach for your specific situation.

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It’s not just about substance abuse; it’s also about the mental health issues and social problems that predated the initial drug use. You can’t build a stable structure until you have a strong foundation. Dual-diagnosis treatment centers like Durable Recovery address the fundamental causes of substance abuse, including substance self-medication of psychological disorders.

Beyond treating mental illness, effective treatment programs must also nurture mental health. Successful recuperation demands developing the resilience you’ll require in life’s inevitable up and downs, including relapses. To cultivate active, constructive psychological habits such as gratitude, acceptance, tenacity, and helping others, you must develop your personal strengths through activities such as practicing a craft.

Substance abuse recovery must be undertaken in conjunction with mental health treatment, not as a stand-alone treatment. Wellness, mental and physical, is the foundation for the person you were always intended to be.

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring issue, or comorbidity, is when a person has a substance abuse condition (SUD) and a mental health issue either at the same time or one after the other. These health issues are interconnected and influence the development of both diseases, as well as the outcomes and therapy for each. When a person has co-occurring health issues, one condition often exacerbates or worsens the other.

Which Disorder Came First?

People with co-occurring disorders frequently want to know which came first. For example, someone with an alcohol addiction (AUD) and depression might wonder whether their alcohol addiction caused their depression or whether their untreated depression led to their alcohol addiction. It is not always possible to determine which problem occurred first, but treatment and prognosis for recovery are the same no matter which comorbidity occurred first.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders

Approximately one in four people with a serious mental illness also have a substance use disorder, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Certain combinations are more common than others. Here are some examples of mental health disorders that are frequently coupled with a substance use disorder:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder are said to have recurrent, excessive anxiety or panic episodes, as well as sleep issues, restlessness, and functional issues. Drugs or alcohol might be used by individuals with frequent anxiety for a variety of reasons. Some people may abuse Xanax, a prescription anxiety medication, or alcohol or illicit substances to enhance social skills or cope with other anxiety symptoms.

Eating Disorders

Individuals who need addiction treatment are often afflicted with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Drugs such as stimulants or diet pills, as well as alcohol, are frequently used to suppress appetite and boost confidence. An individual with body dysmorphic disorder, who is excessively critical of his or her own appearance and obsessed with imagined physical flaws, frequently struggle with addiction as well. Despite the fact that eating disorders are frequently noticed in young people, they may occur at any age.

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Bipolar Disorder

Individuals with bipolar disorder are especially susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. This mental disorder is caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry resulting in uncontrollable, severe episodes of depression and mania. Since those with bipolar disorder frequently self-medicate in an effort to reduce the intensity of these mood swings, they are more likely to suffer from them and become addicted as a result.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experiences an extreme level of stress or, in some cases, death as a result of violent crimes, wars, or car accidents. Those with PTSD tend to experience flashbacks and night terrors. Some of these people choose to relieve their symptoms with alcohol or drugs in order to maintain sleep and emotional balance, which can lead to further disruptions.


Individuals who experience hallucinations, psychosis, delusions, and disorganized thinking are said to have schizophrenia. Because schizophrenics typically become unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy, those with this condition often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with these challenges.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Children and young adults frequently receive attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses. This condition is characterized by an inability to concentrate, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. Those with ADHD are frequently given stimulant prescription medications. We frequently see young adults who have abused their prescriptions as well as those who are self-medicating and suppressing their symptoms by consuming alcohol or other drugs.

Benefits of Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

If you or a loved one is experiencing dual diagnosis issues, seeking treatment right away is crucial. Addiction is a terminal disease that becomes progressively worse as time passes, and it can be deadly if untreated. Dual diagnosis treatment provides numerous advantages, including:

Increased Likelihood of Recovery

It is more likely for someone to recover when both their addiction and mental health issues are addressed. Both the origins of the addiction and the symptoms of the mental health condition are addressed when both are treated simultaneously.

Restored Physical Health

It is well known that substance use disorder damages your physical health, whether from overdose or from the chronic toxic substances the body absorbs. Psychiatric disorders can also negatively impact your physical well-being just as much as substances do. Physical health may suffer as a result of anxiety, melancholy, and other mood disorders, leaving the patient exhausted, confused, and unable to concentrate on improving their health. Dual diagnosis treatment focuses on both physical and mental needs, ensuring you receive the nutrition, rest, and physical activity needed for recovery.

Improved Mental Health

Having a dual diagnosis is no less real suffering than mental health or substance use disorder treatment, but it is often hidden from others. Getting dual diagnosis treatment, rather than individual mental health or substance abuse treatment, will enable you to break bad habit loops in therapy and acquire beneficial coping skills that will improve your mental health.

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Enhanced Quality of Life

Having a dual-diagnosis disorder can improve the quality of life of a patient simply by providing them with more information. By understanding the interplay between their body and mind, as well as substance abuse and psychiatric disorders, patients often feel empowered to take on future challenges.

Mental Health Matters at Durable Recovery

Durable Recovery recognizes the intricacies of mental illness and how an untreated condition can negatively impact a person’s life in many ways. Because of this, our team of mental health professionals is prepared to handle mental illness at all phases and levels of severity.

Developing the perfect blend of therapies and supports that fit you is an important step in the mental health recovery process. Mental illness treatment options differ from person to person, even if they have the same condition. At Durable Recovery, there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment. Even patients with the same condition may have different needs, goals, objectives, and experiences. When people are involved in developing their own treatment programs, including defining objectives for recovery and wellness, selecting services that support them, and evaluating treatment outcomes and decisions, the quality of care and outcomes are enhanced.

The professionals at Durable Recovery are trained in treating a variety of mental illnesses and disorders, and they are proud to provide high-quality, effective care for everyone. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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