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If you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder, you should understand how your mental health plays into the battle.

Addiction and substance abuse are mental health disorders. Being addicted to or dependent on drugs can take a toll on your mind, body and spirit. If you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder, you should understand how your mental health plays into the battle. Finding the right support can lead you toward successful recovery.

How is substance abuse linked to mental health?

Some experts refer to addiction as a brain disease. Addiction is characterized the compulsive use of harmful substances. People who suffer from addiction aren’t always able to stop despite adverse consequences.

In some cases, mental health issues cause people to turn to drugs. For example, someone who deals with anxiety may not have tools to cope with the intense mental struggle. Initially, taking drugs may seem like an easy fix.

But whenever you block your ability to work through your emotions, they stay stuck. You may feel as though you’ve found the magic pill for happiness, but the high is fleeting. When the drugs wear off, you feel as bad as you did before. Sometimes, you feel worse.


Does addiction lead to mental health disorders?

Does addiction lead to mental health disorders?

People often turn to drugs because they already have a psychological disorder. Taking substances can exacerbate mental health problems or cause issues that weren’t present before.

Drugs change the way that your brain is wired. They interfere with the natural mechanisms that the body uses to maintain equilibrium. Studies show that taking substances can alter the parts of the brain that are associated with judgment, learning, memory, decision-making and impulse control.

These brain changes linger even after you’ve come down from the high. You may be anxious, isolated, sad or lethargic. In many cases, using the drug makes you feel better. But you’re not engaging in the healing that you need to address the mental health disorder.

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

People with co-occurring disorders are diagnosed with a psychological issue along with a substance abuse disorder. The mental health problem produces symptoms that can interfere with your daily functioning. Some of the most common co-occurring mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.


Depression is a common condition marked by feelings of sadness, loss of interest, feelings of worthlessness or thoughts of suicide. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Sometimes, the symptoms of depression are physical. People experiencing this condition may have trouble sleeping, feel exhausted all the time, have digestive distress and slowed movements. Sometimes, these symptoms mimic those of another medical condition. It’s important to be evaluated by your physician and a mental health professional if you have symptoms of depression.


Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when you have excessive worries or intrusive thoughts for no obvious reason. Although your concerns may be valid, they are usually out of proportion to the significance of the circumstances.

Many people use substances to calm their nerves. However, it’s important to learn safe and healthy coping mechanisms. Abusing substances can make anxiety worse.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood shifts. Some people experience periods of mania, which are followed by depression. People with this disorder may have trouble maintaining relationships, holding down a job or managing schoolwork because their emotions feel so erratic at times. When they’re in a manic stage, they may believe that there are no negative consequences for abusing drugs. They may also turn to substances during depressive phases to find peace.


Schizophrenia involves disordered thinking, delusions and hallucinations. This psychological condition can impair daily functioning or be completely debilitating.

Certain drugs, including marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine, can worsen symptoms of schizophrenia. Also, people may mistake schizophrenia for a substance abuse disorder because the symptoms can be similar.



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs when someone has experienced or witnessed a horrific event. They have trouble processing and coping with the experience. Their fear and anxiety are triggered when they have memories of the event.

Symptoms can eventually feel uncontrollable and take over everyday life. People with PTSD may have issues with avoidance, disassociation, intrusive memories, depression, mood shifts and overpowering reactions.

It can be difficult to identify which symptoms are related to the substance abuse disorder and which are caused by other mental health conditions. To manage a co-occurring disorder, you must seek help for all of the mental health conditions that you’re struggling with.

If you’re concerned that you might be dealing with any of these issues, reach out to us. We can help you determine what’s going on and create a personalized treatment plan for detox and recovery.

Rapid Detox

The journey toward recovery from opioids starts with detox. Eliminating drugs from your body initiates the healing process.


Understanding symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol use disorder may help you learn whether you need help.


ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a psychiatric behavioral disorder that affects all ages.

Methadone Detox

Methadone is often used to treat substance abuse disorders. However, methadone is an extremely addictive drug.

Heroin Detox

Heroin detox is the first step toward combating a psychological or physical addiction.

Suboxone Detox

Suboxone detox at home can help people ease through withdrawal in a restful, secure environment.

Oxycodone Detox

Oxycodone detox is necessary because you cannot regain equilibrium while the drug is still in your system.

Fentanyl Detox

During the fentanyl detox process, you should be medically supervised. Make sure that you have adequate support.

Prescription Drug Detox

In many cases of prescription drug addiction, you don’t feel as though you can function normally without the substance.

Alcohol Detox

The first step that you need to take to combat your addiction is to go through alcohol detox. A home detox program can help you do this safely.

Mental Health

If you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder, you should understand how your mental health plays into the battle.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical detox enables your body to adjust to the absence of drugs & can ease withdrawal symptoms.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is unique to everyone, our support team confidently address the issues that lead to drug & alcohol abuse.

Opioid Treatment

If you’ve become addicted to opioids and want to stop using them, you’ll probably need to undergo treatment.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Examples of co-occurring disorders include the combinations of depression and substance use disorder.