The Connection between Mental Health and Addiction

Here at Emerge Healing Center, we know that mental health and addiction go hand in hand. A diagnosed addiction is a specified type of mental disorder. This may come as a surprise, as society has tried to separate addiction and mental health for years.

However, research and science have proven that addiction is a disease of the mind.

Substance Use Disorder

The National Institute of Mental Health tells us that a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to a person’s inability to control their use of substances such as legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. The most severe form of SUD is addiction.

It is also very common for people to experience addiction in conjunction with other mental disorders.

Mental Disorders and Addiction

Addicts who have co-occurring mental disorders often have anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, ADHD, and others. It’s common for someone who gets treated for a substance addiction to not get treated for these other possible disorders.

At Emerge Healing Center, we look at the whole picture. Addiction is in and of itself considered a mental health condition because of the way that it affects brain function. Abusing substances makes your brain rely on them to release dopamine, the chemical responsible for making us feel happy and relaxed. This means that normally enjoyable activities no longer make you feel good, and instead, your brain craves drugs to release dopamine.

The longer you abuse substances, the more imbalanced your brain chemicals become, setting you up for additional mental health issues. If you have preexisting mental health conditions, drug abuse can make your symptoms worse over time. No matter which condition came first, or even if you aren’t sure which came first, continued drug abuse will only continue to harm your mental health.

Getting Treatment

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly half of all people in the U.S. with a drug addiction also suffer from at least one mental health condition. Emerge Healing Center is here to help with compassionate care with our dual diagnosis treatment in Georgia. Our caring and experienced staff are here to answer any questions you may have about the treatment process, as well as help you to decide on the right treatment path for your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more, and let us help arm you with all of the tools you need to be successful in recovery.

More Dual Diagnosis Treatment Resources

If you’d like to learn more about the connection between mental health and addiction, then read some of our informative articles on the topic below. We dive into every aspect of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders so that we can answer any questions you may have.