The connection between mental health and addiction cannot be overemphasized. These two conditions must be addressed concurrently in order to experience full recovery from addiction. To treat these co-occurring issues successfully, the individual should seek treatment for both disorders in the same treatment program. Genetics play a large role in addiction and mental illness, and they must be addressed together for successful recovery. In addition to proper treatment for addiction, patients should also undergo counseling for their co-occurring disorders.
Treatment options for addiction and mental health range widely. Residential treatment is the most common type, and generally lasts from six to 12 months. These programs provide structured care plans to patients with a specific diagnosis and treatment plan. They may be followed by outpatient rehab and 24-hour monitoring. Inpatient rehabs typically last a few weeks or months and may also include a transitional period before the patient enters the community-based treatment program.
Psychotic disorders can occur in people who have alcohol or drugs and are accompanied by a mental illness. Bipolar disorder is characterized by severe mood swings and varying degrees of mania, a heightened state of energy with little need for sleep. Other mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are caused by exaggerated responses to stressful situations. Personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, affect a person's ability to form relationships and build strong connections with others.
In addition to medication and psychosocial therapy, substance abuse recovery may also include counseling and support groups. Self-help groups can be found online or through a licensed counselor. Some state-funded rehabs accept patients without insurance. Additionally, nonprofit organizations may be able to offer financial assistance. If you or someone you love is dealing with an addiction, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Recovery from drug addiction requires a strong decision to seek help.
Recent research suggests that genetic factors are related to drug addiction, as well as many other chronic illnesses. The tendency to have a high risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol runs in families, and scientists are studying whether genes are a factor in addiction. Although environmental and behavioral factors also play a part, genetics contributes as much as 40 percent of a person's vulnerability. But it is important to note that genetics do not explain everything.
Several methods of analysis have been developed to help identify genetic variations that are associated with specific diseases. One technique is known as genome-wide association study (GWAS), which involves the use of high-throughput sequencing technologies to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms. A GWAS can identify a large number of genetic variants that may be directly linked to a disease. GWAS, which was first used for nicotine dependence, may have a significant impact on understanding addiction.
Other methods involve studying family members for evidence of genetic links to addiction. Research has shown that a high percentage of people with addictions have a family history of drug abuse. However, it is unclear whether there is a direct connection between genes and addiction. The disease can develop even without a genetic predisposition. Ultimately, nature and nurture combine to empower a disease. The stigma surrounding addiction makes treatment more difficult for those who are suffering from it.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, co-occurring disorders in addiction and mental illness affect millions of people. This is largely due to the commonality of the disorders. The disorders share similarities, and patients often receive treatment for one while leaving the other untreated. The results of this can be disastrous, as the person may experience a relapse and their mental health will deteriorate.
In order to better identify the conditions of people who suffer from both addiction and mental illnesses, the DSM was revised in 2010. In the new version of the manual, co-occurring disorders are recognized as having many of the same symptoms as a person without the co-occurring disorder. However, it does not necessarily mean that the substance use disorder is worse than the mental health disorder. Individuals with co-occurring disorders will display symptoms of both.
When these two conditions occur simultaneously, treatment should address both. It is recommended that people with co-occurring disorders go for integrated treatment, where both disorders are addressed at the same time. If left untreated, these disorders can have devastating consequences on the brain. Without treatment, co-occurring disorders can result in increased risk of hospitalization, social isolation, and violence. The consequences of untreated co-occurring disorders are far more serious than a single disorder alone.