Sometimes people use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression. Symptoms of mental health disorders can actually worsen with drugs or alcohol. When someone suffers with a mental illness and substance use disorder simultaneously, both conditions must be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis.

A person who has an underlying mental health disorder might turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Drugs and alcohol exacerbate symptoms of mental illnesses. Some drugs can heighten paranoia, depression, and anxiety.  

The brain develops a dependence on the drugs or alcohol to function. These substances can lead to brain damage, liver failure, seizures, heart attack or stroke. Addiction can affect physical and mental health. Using drugs or alcohol can result in an overdose or lead to an early death.

People who suffer from a mental health disorder often use drugs to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. When people self-medicate, any mental health problems they have are temporarily masked. Instead of bringing relief, drugs can lead to new problems.

Drug use can lead to mental health illnesses. Psychosis, delirium, amnesia disorder, and perceptual disorders can develop from regular drug use. Disruptive sleep patterns, shakiness, disorientation, irritability, anxiety disorders, and depression can stem from heavy drug and alcohol use. The untreated symptoms of a mental health disorder can make the patient unable to remain clean and sober. Untreated substance abuse issues can make mental health treatment ineffective.

Some drugs affect memory and can cause persisting dementia or amnesia. Long-term drug use can cause an inability to retain new memories or access old ones. Drugs damage parts of the brain that control memory retention.

Not everyone reacts the same way to drugs and alcohol. One drug may cause a person to experience psychosis, but another person taking the same drug might have symptoms of anxiety. Drugs such as cocaine have been associated with psychotic disorders. Certain substances can accelerate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you or a loved one suffers from a mental health disorder and addiction, get help now. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Dual diagnosis treatment is available and recovery is possible.

Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204