Many people use drugs or alcohol as an escape from reality or a way to cope. Drugs and alcohol can heighten symptoms of mental illness. Certain drugs cause paranoia, depression, and anxiety.

When a person uses drugs or alcohol regularly, he or she will build a tolerance to the amount taken. The brain develops a dependence to function, but using drugs or alcohol can cause brain damage, liver failure, seizures, heart attack or stroke. Addiction leads to many physical and mental health issues. Drugs and alcohol can cause a person to overdose or lead to an early death. People who have a mental health disorder often use drugs to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. When people self-medicate, mental health problems are temporarily masked. Some drugs can be associated with the development of certain disorders. Instead of bringing relief, drugs can lead to new problems.

Substance abuse can cause many types of mental health illnesses. Alcohol is a depressant and drinking alcohol could worsen the symptoms of depression. Psychosis, delirium, amnesia disorder, and perceptual disorders can develop from regular use. Disruptive sleep patterns, shakiness, disorientation, irritability, anxiety disorders, and depression can stem from heavy drug use.

Some substances 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 each drug. One drug can cause psychosis, but another person taking the same drug might have symptoms of anxiety. Drugs such as cocaine have been associated with the psychotic disorders. Certain drugs or alcohol can accelerate symptoms of depression and anxiety. People living with addiction and mental disorders need treatment for a dual diagnosis. Treating a mental illness that is covered by a drug addiction is ineffective. Healing will take time, but recovery does happen. Sometimes people will need medication prescribed by a medical professional who can manage and monitor the recovery process.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and mental illness, get help now. Do not wait another day to get help. Addiction and mental illnesses are treatable and recovery is possible. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”

~ Rosa Parks

Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation 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