Drug addiction often goes hand in hand with mental health disorders, as there is a strong correlation between the two. However, not all drug addictions and mental health disorders relationships are the same.
While some individuals start using drugs to cope with their mental health disorders, others develop mental health disorders due to their drug addictions. Additionally, substance abuse itself is considered a disorder by some. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health defines it as the person’s inability to control their use of substances.
This correlation is highly relevant for drug treatment centers. For example, at a dual diagnosis treatment center, individuals with drug addictions and mental health orders are simultaneously diagnosed and treated for drug addictions.
During evaluations, several important factors are examined to determine the presence of drug addiction and a mental health disorder and how they impact the patient’s life.
Firstly, how willing an individual is to start drug treatment can be a key determining factor in the impact of addiction and mental health disorders on their life. Additionally, a history of drug abuse and the lack of a supportive environment could be supportive factors that also negatively impact the individual’s life. Finally, another serious factor that is considered is the likelihood that the individual may cause harm to themselves and/or others.
Lastly, dual diagnosis evaluations also examine for signs of mental illness commonly found to be related to drug abuse.
Mental health disorders are often difficult to detect and manage. Some people suffering from mental illness are completely unaware of their disorders. Regardless, there is still a range of signs that can predict mental health disorders.
Firstly, a general inattention to or lack of care for one’s well-being can be a sure-fire sign of a disorder. For example, under and overeating can both signal a mental health disorder.
Secondly, feelings of hopelessness, despair, as well as low levels of energy and motivation can be signs of a mental illness. It’s important to note that most people will feel these symptoms from time to time. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are mentally ill. The key determining factor is the severity and duration of these feelings. Long-term feelings of hopelessness and lack of motivation are more likely to predict a mental illness than a short burst.
Furthermore, erratic and negative social behavior can also be a sign of a mental health disorder. For instance, cutting communication with friends and family and isolating is negative social behavior. Additionally, frequent anger, irritability, and acting on these feelings can be another strong sign.
Drug addiction is much easier to detect from an outsider’s perspective. However, the insider, the drug user, is the more important perspective. A person with a drug addiction needs to accept that they have an addiction before starting treatment. Unfortunately, this is often a very difficult realization. A major reason for the difficulty in admitting one’s addiction likely stems from the root cause of the addiction. If drug abusive behavior is used to cope with a mental illness or other life issues; it can be very difficult to admit a drug addiction.
There are several signs that someone has a drug addiction. Some of these are especially helpful for drug abusers to identify themselves as an addict.
Firstly, stocking up on drugs and always maintaining a ready-to-use supply can be a reliable sign that an individual has an addiction. This is especially true when the individual spends a great deal of time, energy, and money (which they can’t necessarily afford) to acquire these drugs.
Secondly, a drop in physical appearance and performance in work and school are both strong signs that someone is suffering from an addiction. Again, this is likely related to the individual placing the acquisition and usage of drugs as high-priority tasks; in addition to the toll that drugs often have on a person’s cognitive functioning.
Lastly, and most importantly, an inability to stop using a drug and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping are guaranteed signs of an addiction. These signs are difficult to detect and admit in oneself but are very obvious to outsiders.
Luxurious dual diagnosis treatment often starts with drug detox to ensure an individual is clean from the substance and then moves on to rehabilitation to ensure that they don’t relapse.
Rehabilitation is carried out in a variety of forms. Namely, therapy programs such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (in solo or group settings), psychotherapy, and holistic therapy are used to determine and treat the root causes of addictions and mental health disorders.
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