Mental Illness |

Comorbidity – Could Drug Addiction be Caused by Mental Illness?

Posted on 02. Apr, 2014 by in Alcohol & Drug Abuse

The term comorbidity deals with both drug addictions and mental health. It basically means that one person has two or more disorders. These can happen at the same time, or can follow each other. The term also means that the two or more illnesses may be worsened because of how they interact.

Many people who suffer from mental illnesses try to find ways to cope in society. All too often, the need to feel normal, or the need to feel capable leads to experimentation with certain types of drugs and alcohol. Others with mental illness, upon finding that they are unable to hold up to societal expectations turn to drugs and alcohol to mask feelings of anger and disappointment that seem to be ever present.

Many studies have been done on the issues of drug addictions and mental health. These studies have found that when there is early exposure to drugs, changes in the brain may occur simply because of how rapidly the brain is developing during the early teen years. The risk of mental disorders increases dramatically with early drug use. Substance-induced disorders can range from anxiety and depression all the way to complete psychotic reactions.

Treatment for those with comorbid conditions involving drug addiction and mental health need to evaluate and address both issues. Some types of behavioral therapies have been effective at helping individuals cope with both of these issues. There are also medications that can be used to help those who may have become dependent on drugs, alcohol and even nicotine. Withdrawal times may vary depending on what types of substances are in the system, and how long they may have been used.

If someone you love has shown symptoms of both a mental illness and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, finding the right combination of treatments is imperative. Patient responses to treatments may vary with amounts of time and success, but with the right combination, many are able to function and enjoy being part of society once again.


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