More than 18 percent of the total US population struggles with a mental illness, according to data from 2012 produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But what do mental health issues have to do with drug or alcohol treatment? A very high percentage of those seeking treatment for addiction are found to be suffering from a mental health disorder as well. Depression, PTSD, bipolar, ADHD and trauma can all make someone more likely to battle addiction.
It’s not uncommon for someone to turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, either because they are unaware they have a mental health issue, the problem has gone undiagnosed or they don’t like the medication prescribed for their condition and how it makes them feel. Unfortunately, these substances may quiet symptoms in the short term, but over time they only exacerbate the mental health issues, they never heal them. Then as the individual becomes addicted, they now have yet another problem to address.
In the past, substance abuse and mental health issues were treated separately without any connection. Over time, it became clear that this outdated model was less than ideal. As we grow in our understanding of the connection between mental health and addiction, treatment professionals have developed a dual diagnosis approach to treat these co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Today, the experts acknowledge that treating these issues together is key, and integrated treatment is accepted as the best option for lasting long-term sobriety.
Mental health issues and addiction have been misunderstood for far too long. We’re making great strides at removing the stigma from both of these medical conditions, but its only by understanding these issues and treating them appropriately that we can see real change. Any number of programs can be successful in ending abusive or addictive behavior for a period of time. Only by addressing the underlying issues and getting to the root of the addiction – including looking at any contributing mental or emotional issues – can we provide the best opportunity for true and lasting recovery.
Integrated Addiction and Mental Health Treatment at Skywood
At Skywood, we treat co-occurring addiction and mental health conditions. To find out more about what we do and how we can help you, contact us today. We can assess your situation, answer your questions and point you in the right direction for further assistance.