Recovery Unplugged discusses addiction and mental illness on World Mental Health Day

A Look at Addiction and Mental Illness

Recovery Unplugged wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the clear and undeniable correlation between addiction and mental illness, and the increasing importance of dual-diagnosis treatment. We want to promote advocacy and mobilize support for those struggling with different types of behavioral health issues. Understanding the ways in which substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health issues influence and compound one another is key not only for the treatment community to provide effective care, but also for families and friends of those affected to provide the appropriate level of support.

How Common Is Co-Occurring Addiction and Mental Illness?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that over eight million Americans currently struggle with co-occurring substance use disorder and mental health issues. Each one of these individuals struggles with their own unique set of conditions and circumstances, whether it’s depression, trauma, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other factor. Here are some things to consider about the need for dual-diagnosis treatment:

The Bureau of Economic Research indicates that individuals with lifetime mental illness consume roughly 69 percent of all alcohol and 84 percent of all cocaine.

Data published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.

60 percent of adolescents in community-based substance use disorder treatment programs also meet diagnostic criteria for another mental illness

Research from the University of Maryland indicates glaringly high rates of co-occurring anxiety disorder and substance use disorder.

A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, among many others, illustrates a close and complex relationship between substance use and depression.

How Does Co-Occurring Disorder Start?

In each case of co-occurring addiction and mental illness, there are distinct origins and risk factors that should inform the protocol for intervention. In some cases,  the presence of issues like depression and anxiety can lead to self-medication with prescriptions, alcohol and illicit drugs; in others, high-risk behavior exhibited through active and prolonged substance abuse can lead to traumatic experiences that give birth to a whole host of mental health issues. One of the most common routes to dual-diagnosis disorder is the development of dependency on benzodiazepines to treat anxiety, antidepressants and prescription stimulants to treat ADHD. The key to proper treatment of these conditions is identifying the unique causes and sustaining factors on a case-by-case basis to develop the proper care program.

The Role of Music in Treating Dual-Diagnosis Disorder

Music can have enormous therapeutic value in the treatment of the issues that exacerbate co-occurring addiction and mental illness. It has been found to be an invaluable clinical asset in the management of a variety of conditions, like depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and even chronic pain. Recovery Unplugged leverages music’s healing properties to help our clients more readily embrace the treatment process and build trust, community and dialogue with our staff and other clients. Think about how you feel when you’re listening to one of your favorite tracks; how, for the duration of the song, there’s nothing between you and the music, and all other obstacles in life seem far behind. This kind of therapeutic power, when properly utilized, has game-changing benefits in the clinical and everyday recovery processes. Music promotes well-being, engages positive physiological change, creates the opportunity for increased social interaction, and provides people with an outlet for creative catharsis and self-expression, all vital resources for those struggling with virtually all types of mental illness.

Get the Help You Need for Addiction and Mental Illness

If you or someone you care about is struggling with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues, you’re not alone and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. The sad reality is that too often stigma prevents people seeking treatment when they need it. As time goes on, many feel more and more alone until they sink deeper into addiction and mental illness, and either overdose accidentally or take their own lives. Recovery Unplugged is here to tell you that you that you don’t have to let these issues dictate or end your life. Call us today at 800-55-REHAB for quality, compassionate dual-diagnosis treatment.