If you have an addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder, it’s important to treat the two together. This means getting help for both simultaneously.
But why can’t you just treat one?
Well, substance use and mental health disorders interact with and affect one another. If you enter recovery without being treated for a mental health disorder, you are neglecting a major underlying reason for your substance use.
Many people with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. If you get sober without addressing the anxiety or depression, you may end up turning back to substances.
If you are treated for a mental health disorder while still in active addiction, you can’t be present to do the work in therapy. Even if you are not actively using when you see your therapist, chronic alcohol and drug use affects your mental clarity and makes it difficult to engage more deeply in treatment.
Substance use also exacerbates symptoms of many mental health disorders, making them more difficult to manage. For instance, alcohol worsens anxiety by impacting levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Additionally, treatment for mental health disorders sometimes requires medications that negatively interact with alcohol or drugs.
Still, many people with co-occurring disorders don’t receive treatment for both conditions. In 2018, 34.5% of people who struggled with addiction and mental health disorders only received mental health care. Over half received no treatment at all, and only 9.1% were treated for both. When looking into treatment, it is important to consider whether practitioners are trained to treat the two disorders together.
If you are struggling with co-occurring disorders, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—know how the two disorders interact and will give you compassionate, informed care. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.