DRUGS AND GOING MENTAL

For years, people have equated drug use with mental illness. In other words, if you have developed a psychological issue such as bipolar disease, paranoia or schizophrenia, etc. – while also taking drugs, your affliction is undoubtedly due to the drugs.

Undoubtedly… because just like the anti-drug commercial featuring the egg frying in the pan, sunny-side up with a cooking yoke is what your brain becomes after any inkling of drug use.

While commercials of frying eggs serve as strong visual metaphors for human brains on drugs, and can deter some from experimenting with illicit substances, what the commercial relays as to the cause and effect of drug use on the human mind has come under strong debate.

In short, there are those in the medical community who resist such visual PSAs and maintain the inverse of drug use and mental illness. In short, it isn’t drug use that leads to mental illness, but rather mental illness that leads to drug use.

DRUG ABUSE VS. MENTAL ABUSE: THE FACTS

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), 26.7% of people with mental health issues abused illicit drugs in 2012. Within the standard public, only 13.2% of people abused drugs.

Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) maintains that those who suffer from mental illness may attempt to self-medicate their symptoms via drug use.

When these individuals abuse drugs, they may feel less anxiety, depression or neuroses, even if it is only temporary. When the individual is not high, the symptoms of their mental health issue return – often stronger than before.

And yet with the facts that surround the drug abuse vs. mental abuse debate, there are additional factors that can more closely relate drugs to psychiatric/psychological issues, which can maintain drug use leads to mental damage.

UNKNOWN OR UNDIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS

The need for self-medication can be overwhelming while experiencing mental illness. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, paranoia and restlessness are the most likely to seek relief from their ailments through alcohol and drugs.

UNPLEASANT SIDE EFFECTS OF MENTAL ILLNESS MEDICINE

In some cases, the medicine given to patients suffering from mental illness can have unpleasant side effects. These side effects can cause a patient to turn toward other forms of medication that might alleviate these effects.

For example, in situations such as this, mental and sobriety experts cite schizophrenia patients who turn to marijuana to alleviate the depression caused by anti-hallucination medication.

ARE THERE DRUGS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO MENTAL ILLNESS/DAMAGE?

There are illicit drugs that are known to cause mental illness. One such drug is ecstasy, which after several years of use, can play a large part in the alteration of a user’s brain chemistry.

This chemical alteration directly effects the user’s mood and other behaviors. Eventually, the alterations can lead to depression or anxiety, which the user may treat with even more drugs.

AT-RISK MENTAL ILLNESS SUFFERS INCREASE RISK BY ALCOHOL/DRUG TAKING

Family issues, genetic makeup as well as major life problems can contribute to what pushes a person over the edge into mental illness. Chronic substance abuse can give the sensation that it is bringing these day-to-day pressures to a manageable level, when in fact that abuse is only exacerbating the potential for mental illness while also taking attention away from the day-to-day issues that need to be solved.

ADOLESCENTS WHO ABUSE SUBSTANCES ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS LATER IN LIFE

Heavy and consistent substance abuse in teens can easily result in mental issues once they become adults.

Drug use can alter the cognitive and social development within teenagers, which can result in depression and anxiety disorders later in life.

It is just as important to recognize the roots of mental illness as it is to recognize the roots of alcohol and drug abuse. Only then can we truly see how both afflictions affect and enhance each other, both short and long term.

After that, we can assign a program that can at least remedy the substance abuse so that our client can concentrate more fully on rectifying their mental health issues without the mental and physical distraction of alcohol and/or drugs.

If you or a loved one have an addiction issue, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers, we custom tailor our recovery programs with the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction, and help you achieve true recovery. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

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The Relationship Between Mental Illness and Drug Abuse