Until recent years, substance abuse and mental health problems were treated separately. They were seen as two completely different conditions. Now, medical professionals know that addiction and mental health problems are co-occurring conditions that fuel each other, sometimes one causing the other to erupt. This is why it is important to seek substance abuse and mental health treatment at the same time.

How are Substance Abuse and Mental Health Connected?

Depressed woman in dark bedroom needs mental health treatment.

There are sometimes stigmas attached to mental illness. This has been true throughout history. But today’s medical and addiction professionals know that mental conditions improve with treatment. Actually, they affect more Americans than you might think. There is no shame in having a mental illness, nor in needing help for addiction. The only shame exists in continuing the cycle of addiction and mental illness because you fear to get help.

Many mental illnesses like depression and anxiety cause great daily discomfort. Some people recognize their mental issues and seek medical help early in their condition. Others do not recognize their needs, or experience conditions that are not obvious even to people around them. In these cases, many patients turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to “normalize” how they feel.

Progression of Addiction with Mental Illness

At first, drugs and alcohol make you feel more social, outgoing, brave, relaxed, energetic and otherwise differently than you typically feel without them. For someone with untreated anxiety, drinking alcohol or taking a prescription painkiller suddenly makes them feel more balanced and capable of daily functioning. But this is a slippery slope toward tolerance, physical dependence and then addiction. For many, this is how addiction begins.

For other people, addiction brings mental illness along with it. Substance abuse changes your brain chemistry and structure. In addiction, your brain needs the drug or alcohol to function normally. For many people, drinking or doing drugs changes their brain chemistry in even more destructive ways. Or they adopt unhealthy behaviors and patterns of thinking defined as a mental illness.

Mental Health Treatment in Addiction Recovery

For people wanting to end their addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to dig deeply into your mental health at the same time. Substance abuse does not begin on its own. There are reasons why you started abusing drugs or alcohol. They become uncovered during mental health treatment. That way, you truly recover from your addiction and end the cycle of substance abuse and mental illness.

Mental health treatment is one ticket to freedom from addiction if you suffer co-occurring disorders. If your mental illness is under control, you are less likely to suffer relapse on drugs or alcohol. This is another reason why it is so important to engage in mental health treatment during addiction recovery.

Behavioral therapy is the primary type of treatment for mental wellness in rehab. These therapies include individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, holistic therapies and experiential therapies. Yoga, meditation, chiropractic care, massage therapy and other methods help you gain better understanding and control over your personal well being.

Having a mental condition and addiction at the same time is part of a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis means you have been provided two diagnoses, that of a mental condition and an addiction. These diagnoses map your mental health treatment and therapies in rehab as part of your individual treatment plan.

Your Mental Wellness Begins in Detox

One of the first steps for gaining the mental health recovery you need is detox. You first must end your physical dependence on drugs or alcohol, before you can tackle the bigger issues that led you to substance abuse. Serenity House Detox in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida provides medically supervised and accredited detox, for your best first steps into sobriety.

Programs at Serenity House Detox include:

The professionals of Serenity House Detox understand your co-occurring condition and how it affects your sober recovery. They keep you comfortable, safe and secure throughout detox so you have the healthiest start to lasting addiction recovery. Call Serenity House Detox now at 866-294-5306 for more information about how to treat mental health issues as well as addiction. Recovery starts with a phone call.