According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), there might be a connection between mental illness and substance abuse. What is more, health disorders are connected to alcohol, cocaine, and cigarettes.
On the other hand, the NBER stated that disorders are presented in many different forms and combinations.Each of them is caused by a different reason, and they can display their own symptoms and characteristics. That is why they should be treated with the appropriate interventions and Dual diagnosis treatment method due to each disorder.
Treatment method would vary depending on the person, and the symptoms developed. Certain possibilities should be considered when treating a mental health patient.
When talking about mental health patients, it is essential to mention self- medication. It is very common for a patient to medicate the symptoms by using alcohol or drugs in order to feel some kind of relief.
It is possible to comment on some general medications associated with substance abuse. For example; a patient who is depressed uses marijuana to numb the pain. If a patient is suffering from social anxiety, alcohol could be present as a way to feel more comfortable in social contexts.
Some patients tend to struggle with panic attacks, so they take some drugs like Xanax or Valium to ease the symptoms and even to avoid the attack altogether. Lastly, patients who suffer from low energy or lack of motivations tend to consume cocaine or crystal meth to feel more motivated and increase the level of energy.
It is believed that drugs and alcohol can address the underlying mental health symptoms. However, they might create and add new symptoms to the already existing ones and, at the same time, increase the mental health conditions.
Old Symptoms Might Trigger New Symptoms
It is believed that the consequences of several drugs are mental health symptoms. In some cases, substance abuse can bring about paranoia, delusion or even depression. If the symptoms do not disappear after the drugs affect vanishes, it might indicate that a new mental disorder is happening. For example;
- Substance or drug abuse might increase the possibility of becoming a victim of assault or rape. This could lead to mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, eating disorders and more.
- Poor decision-making: patients may break the law or make other choices that cause them to struggle with anxiety in addition to drug addiction.
- Unprotected sex or sharing needles with people infected with HIV or hepatitis C which lead to the contraction of the disease. Later on, the person might struggle with depression and grief over the life-changing consequences.
- A common effect of drugs is the depression so symptoms could that can deepen into a disorder over time.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Connection
For a patient with a Dual Diagnosis of mental health disorder and substance abuse problems, it is relevant to enroll in a treatment program that involves both conditions at the same time. This is because, the symptoms which are not treated can cause the person to be unstable and so incapable of being clean or sober, as well as, mental health treatment ineffective.