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Florida Partners in Crisis
Advocate for mental health and substance abuse treatment services
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The situation where you are dealing with both a substance abuse problem, as well as mental issues, is when you have a dual diagnosis and needless to say, having only one of either of stated problems is extremely hard to deal with, let alone both.
But there are several methods of treatments as well as recovery options that will help you come back to the right track. All you truly need is treatment, support and of course, the willingness to return back to your normal self.
People who suffer from dual diagnosis often find it hard to function be it at home, school or even at work. This is mainly because the symptoms of each illness affects them in a very significant way and hence, they find it hard to relate to others. What’s worse is that the conditions also influence each other and hence, the already existing substance abuse is worsened when the mental health issue is left unresolved.
Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis cases are actually more common that one might assume. A report that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has stated that nearly 50% of mental health victims are also dealing with substance abuse issues and nearly 40% of all alcohol abusers and 55% of all drug abusers suffer from at least a single mental health disorder.
What should be given priority?
It is important to understand that although mental health disorders and substance abuse are closely linked, one doesn’t directly influence the other. The problem usually arises when mental health victims use substances in order to self-medicate when the former starts showing symptoms.
Abuse of alcohol or drugs is used commonly in order to mask or cope with emotions that are otherwise extremely difficult to deal with. This, in turn, leads to unnecessary side effects that often make mental health issues more severe in the long run.
As you may have guessed, substance abuse then increases the problems that are already evident with mental health, and if you already have a mental disorder, the use of alcohol or drugs will only push the limit. It is even well documented that mental health victims who use opioids or marijuana show increased signs of depression or even psychosis for that matter when it comes to the latter.
The use of alcohol or drugs can interfere with the existing medications that are prescribed for mental illness and in turn, make the management of symptoms an even more difficult affair.