The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

     May is Mental Health Awareness month, which focuses on the importance of taking care of our mental wellness. By evaluating both harmful and helpful habits in our lives, we can take an active stance in “becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence”.[1]

     For some, improving mental wellness means quitting smoking. Others may need more sleep, a nutrient-rich diet, and better exercise routine. An increased sense of mental wellness may also include confiding in a close friend about the struggles of life.

     When mental wellness is not a priority, stress and life circumstances can quickly yet subtly push people to seek unhealthy ways of coping. Often, these harmful habits can lead to substance abuse. This is referred to as a ‘dual diagnosis’.

     Dual Diagnosis occurs when an individual is struggling with both addiction and mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or a combination of illnesses. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a third of all people are struggling with mental illness, and half of those struggling with mental illness have issues with substance abuse.[2]

     If mental illness remains untreated while an individual undergoes drug rehabilitation, the chances of achieving long-term sobriety are slim. Or, if one merely focuses on recovering from the mental illness while neglecting the issue of substance abuse, they will continue to return to harmful coping habits. However, when health care professionals treat both addiction and the mental illness, recovery becomes an achievable and sustainable endeavor.

     If you or a loved one is suffering from both substance abuse and mental illness, call Total Rehab Solutions today at (888) 507-1355. We offer free, confidential, and over the phone assessments to find the right dual diagnosis treatment for you. You are not alone in your fight for mental health, wellness, and sobriety.

“To be healthy as a whole, mental wellness plays a role.”