Co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health issues are more common than people realize. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, rougly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental health illness, and of all those diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse alcohol or drugs. These statistics are alarming and there seems to be a link between these two conditions.
Substance abuse and mental health doesn't heal on its own and can get worse if left ignored. This is why it's important to find the right support, self-help, and treatment to overcome these illnesses to reclaim your sense of self and get your life back on track.
Here is a quick questionaire to help spot the signs of substance abuse problems. The more you answer "yes" the more likely drinking and drugs have been an issue:
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Do you need to use more and more drugs or alcohol to attain the same effects on your mood or outlook?
- Have you tried to cut back, but couldn’t?
- Do you lie about how much or how often you drink or use drugs?
- Are you going through prescription medication at a faster-than-expected rate?
- Have your friends or family members expressed concern about your alcohol or drug use?
- Do you ever feel bad, guilty, or ashamed about your drinking or drug use?
- Have you done or said things while drunk or high that you later regretted?
- Has your alcohol or drug use caused problems at work, school, or in your relationships?
- Has your alcohol or drug use gotten you into trouble with the law?
Fortunately, there is hope. Both mood disoders and drug abuse and alcohol abuse issues can be treated but it takes a lot of time, commitment, and courage but people with co-occuring disorders can and do get better. It is also important to stay sober while receiving treatment. Mixing alcohol with drugs can be extremely harmful and attending therapy while under the influence makes it far less effective. It also can be discourging to relapse but it is also all part of the recovery process. Most people learn and move on during their pathway to recovery. Finally peer surrport does help. Many individuals benefit from attending peer led groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcatics Anonymous. This gives them a change to lean on others who understand exactly what they are going through and learn from their experiences.
If you need more help finding help of to get more information give us a call at (714) 867-7037.