The relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Introduction | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Mental and substance use problems are common and can affect people from all walks of life. Sometimes substance use occurs as a result of a. to investigate the correlation between disorders related to the use of alcohol and other drugs and symptoms of mental disorders, problems related to crime and. Substance use disorders are associated with various mental health problems. Learn about why this happens and how you can deal with it.

Always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your medication or treatment routine.

Mental Health and Drug Abuse

Get therapy or stay involved in a support group. Your chances of staying sober improve if you are participating in a social support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous or if you are getting therapy. Make healthy lifestyle changes Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural way to bust stress, relieve anxiety, and improve your mood and outlook. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.

When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.

Adopt healthy eating habits. Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day.

Substance use disorders

Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more stressed or anxious. Getting enough healthy fats in your diet can help to boost your mood. A lack of sleep can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression, so try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night. Develop new activities and interests. Find new hobbies, volunteer activitiesor work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.

Avoid the things that trigger your urge to use.

The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse | Dual Diagnosis

If certain people, places, or activities trigger a craving for drugs or alcohol, try to avoid them. This may mean making major changes to your social life, such as finding new things to do with your old buddies—or even giving up those friends and making new connections. Group support for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders As with other addictions, groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges.

Sometimes treatment programs for co-occurring disorders provide groups that continue to meet on an aftercare basis. Your doctor or treatment provider may also be able to refer you to a group for people with co-occurring disorders. These free programs, facilitated by peers, use group support and a set of guided principles—the twelve steps—to obtain and maintain sobriety.

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Just make sure your group is accepting of the idea of co-occurring disorders and psychiatric medication. Some people in these groups, although well meaning, may mistake taking psychiatric medication as another form of addiction.

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

You want a place to feel safe, not pressured. Helping a loved one with a substance abuse and mental health problem Helping a loved one with both a substance abuse and a mental health problem can be a roller coaster. Resistance to treatment is common and the road to recovery can be long. The best way to help someone is to accept what you can and cannot do.

You cannot force someone to remain sober, nor can you make someone take their medication or keep appointments. Make sure you're getting the emotional support you need to cope.

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Talk to someone you trust about what you're going through. It can also help to get your own therapy or join a support group. Among veterans, there is a compelling link. Nearly 1 in 5 military service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD.

Recent studies find that almost half of all veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD also have a substance use disorder.

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Women are more likely than men to seek help from mental health providers for a co-occurring disorder, while men are more likely to seek help through substance abuse treatment providers. Some substance abuse treatment centers have a potentially harmful bias about using any medications, including those needed to treat mental illnesses, such as depression.

Many treatment centers do not have staff members who are qualified to prescribe, monitor, or dispense psychiatric medications. Unfortunately, the care necessary to treat these conditions is often lacking within the criminal justice system. It takes a well-equipped, professional treatment facility to properly diagnose and treat dual diagnosis disorders.

Those who have both a substance use disorder and another mental health disorder may exhibit symptoms that are more severe and treatment-resistant than those with only one or the other. Anyone who is potentially struggling with both addiction and mental health issues should be thoroughly assessed for the presence of a dual diagnosis and treated accordingly.

Some treatment facilities today offer specialized dual diagnosis treatment. The first step is often detox.

Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders

Detoxification is the set of interventions used to manage substance withdrawal. Depending on the drug that the individual is detoxing from, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Once you are stable enough for treatment, you may begin your addiction treatment; often this involves moving into a rehab center.

You will undergo an intake assessment with a staff member. A physical examination and psychological assessment will be conducted. Treatment for any pertinent medical and mental health issues will be incorporated into your rehabilitation plan. In other words, there is a positive effect of increased reporting ofinternalizing symptoms and problems related to crime and violence, the reports of symptoms related to the use of AOD, regardless of the amount of externalizing symptoms reported.

For the individuals studied, the greater the report of internalizing symptoms and problems related to crime and violence, the greater the number of symptoms related to the use of AOD they have. This shows that increased severity as evidenced by the increase in the number of symptoms and problems that individual suffering reports is related to increased severity of the problems related to the use of AOD.

the relationship between substance use and mental health problems

Discussion The results allow stating that, with the increasing reports of internalizing symptoms and problems related to crime and violence, increase of symptoms related to the use of AOD is also observed.

The correlation between the experience of individuals with internalization problems and different levels and effects of consumption due to the use of AOD has already been described in the literature and, it has also been emphasized the important association between bipolar disorder, for example, with the use of AOD and smoking 15 - The most severe cases, resulting in significantly longer hospitalizations, are found in people who have symptoms related to guilt, low self-esteem and shame, compatible with the internalizing symptoms, and who are in treatment for abuse of AOD The adult users of AOD, described in studies in which the GAIN-I complete biopsychosocial assessment was used, were more likely to present comorbidities such as tendency to internalizing symptoms and diagnosis of substance addiction 4 This corroborates the results of this research, which correlate the increase in internalizing symptoms and symptoms related to the use of AOD, and that used the GAIN-SS instrument.

The correlation between the externalization symptoms, such as conduct disorder, for example, and the use of AOD, has also been mentioned in the literature In this study, although significant in the univariate analysis, externalizing symptoms did not showed significant effect regardless of the internalizing symptoms and problems related to crime and violence. Therefore, it can be inferred that problems related to the use of substance and their association with psychiatric disorders are common.

Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders internalizing symptoms and conduct disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder externalizing symptoms are the most common comorbidities associated with abuse of psychoactive substances Problems related to crimes and violence are also constantly associated with the use of AOD 20 - The relationship between violence and disorders related to substance use has been discussed for over two decades, and one of the most significant contributors to violence is the abuse of AOD.

In addition to interpersonal aggression, harmful behaviors against oneself eg, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicides, etc. Factors such as increased aggressiveness, impulsivity and hostility raised the possibility of association between suicide and disorders related to substance use among patients with bipolar disorder, and those related to substance use when compared to those without these disorders There is a large number of users of AOD, who have mental disorders such as comorbidities.

This association has been researched over time, since the comorbidity between mental disorders and disorders related to substance use increases the risk of violent conduct. Individuals with multiple diagnoses are, as result of substance abuse, more likely to have treatment problems, no adherence to medication, increased length of stay in the service, poor quality of life and worst treatment results 4 Due to the results achieved here, it is believed that treatment programmes focused on disorders related to substance use, may be an appropriate context to identify the psychiatric comorbidity and presence of general violent behaviors and partner violence.