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The Link Between Addiction and Mental Illness

What's the Connection?

Research shows that nearly half of all people with a substance abuse disorder also suffer from a mental health disorder. This is often referred to as a "co-occurring disorder" or "dual diagnosis."

What does this mean for those struggling with addiction? It means that they are not only battling the physical and psychological effects of addiction but also dealing with the symptoms of another mental health disorder. Since both conditions must be treated to overcome addiction completely, this may make treatment more challenging for some.

What Causes a Co-Occurring Disorder?

Several factors can contribute to the development of a co-occurring disorder. For some, substance abuse may be a way of self-medicating the symptoms of a mental health disorder. Others may develop a mental health disorder due to the changes that addiction has made to their brain chemistry. And still, others may have a genetic predisposition to both addiction and mental illness.

Studies show a significant contribution of co-occurring disorders if a person experiences a mental health disorder throughout adolescence. This research suggests that the earlier and more accurate a mental illness diagnosis comes within childhood, the better the chances of avoiding substance abuse or addiction.

Additionally, those experiencing untreated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show a stronger correlation or likelihood of developing a substance abuse disorder.

Preventative Measures & Resources

The key to preventing a co-occurring condition is early intervention and treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, it's essential to seek professional help as soon as possible.

The first step is finding a reputable treatment center specializing in dual diagnosis. This will ensure that you or your loved one receives the comprehensive care needed to address both disorders.

There are many great treatment centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as:

If Someone I Know Is Struggling With Dual Diagnosis, How Can I Help?

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and mental illness, it's essential to be supportive and understanding. This can be a challenging time for them, and they may need your support while getting better.

Here are some things you can do to support your loved one:

  1. Encourage them to seek professional help.
  2. Offer to go with them to treatment appointments or meetings.
  3. Be understanding if they relapse – this is a common part of recovery.
  4. Engage in positive hobbies with them.

24-Hour Care at Advance ER

We understand that emergencies happen, no matter the scenario. If anything occurs throughout the recovery process, Advance ER is here for you and your loved ones. With 24-hour care, you will always have a team of professionals available to help.

Contact us today at (214) 494-8222 or fill out our online form to learn more about our services.