The Correlation Between Mental Health and Addiction

Many people who struggle with their mental health also battle with addiction. There is a growing awareness of the connection between mental health and substance use. By finding a long-term solution to the problem, individuals can find recovery.

Does Mental Health Cause Substance Use?

There is debate among mental health addiction experts over which comes first, mental illness or substance use. The truth is, there is no clear-cut answer, but there are connections. Mental illness puts an individual at an increased risk for addiction, but not everyone who struggles with their mental health will turn to drugs and alcohol. Some people who struggle with their mental health often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. However, it’s not correct to say that mental health conditions cause addiction. Instead, they’re risk factors.

On the other hand, certain substances are linked to the development of mental health disorders with long-term use. Substance use can lead to changes in some of the same brain areas that are disrupted in other mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, mood, or impulse-control disorders. Drug use before the first symptoms of a mental illness may produce changes in brain structure and function that kindle an underlying predisposition to develop that mental illness.

What Causes Mental Health and Addiction to Co-Occur?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, various factors can play a role in a person struggling with both a mental health disorder and addiction:

  • Genetics: Genes can act indirectly by altering how an individual responds to stress or by increasing the likelihood of risk-taking and novelty-seeking behaviors, which could influence the initiation of substance use and the development of mental illness. Research suggests that genes may contribute to the risk for mental health disorders and addiction, including those that influence neurotransmitters affected by drugs and commonly dysregulated in mental illness, such as dopamine and serotonin.
  • Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Physically or emotionally traumatized people are at much higher risk for drug use. People who suffer from trauma may use substances to reduce their anxiety and avoid dealing with trauma and its consequences.
  • Stress: Stress is a known risk factor for a range of mental health disorders and therefore provides one link between developing an addiction.

Addiction Is a Primary Mental Health Problem

Those who suffer from addiction use substances to satisfy a physical or emotional need. In this sense, addiction is like a symptom, not a disease. There is a problem with looking at addiction as a disease. A lot of people are misdiagnosed with the disease of addiction. It is true someone may be an “addict,” but for most people, they are struggling with their mental health, and they should not have to accept a terminal illness in order to get the help and support they need.

Recovering From Mental Health Disorders and Addiction

At Rickard Elmore Treatment Strategies, we focus on the solution rather than the “problem.” We help people understand that recovery is for all humanity, not just disabled, terminally ill, diseased people. Rickard Elmore states, “On May 15, 2005, I woke up in the hospital emergency room realizing I was alive and I could not keep acting like I was a diseased individual in order to access recovery. It was clear to me that I had to take a different route in order to have the life in recovery that I was taught I could have and that I imagined.”

Moving forward, he realized that he needed a more accurate description of the work he was doing, so he branded “Treatment Strategy.” The number one reason people fail after they complete treatment is a lack of planning and strategy; not everyone needs an “intervention;” sometimes, they just need a good coach.

The Rickard Elmore Approach

The Rickard Elmore approach works because it begins with the most powerful ingredient to recovery — YOU. Rickard Elmore Treatment Strategies doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all, generic approach to recovery. They work with the individual’s specific personality, likes, dislikes, career demands, family bonds, and even the body’s calibrated chemistry to craft a treatment program with maximum potential for success.

Rickard Elmore’s Intervention team takes a full-scale approach to recovery, equipping people with expertise and service from fitness professionals, nutritionists, addiction counselors, physicians, life coaches, and therapists. They address every complex aspect of addiction and mental health and restore every area of life as a result. Rickard Elmore doesn’t believe in surviving through recovery, but in the creation of a brand new life, with limitless horizons and possibilities.

Many people who struggle with their mental health also battle with addiction. There are various reasons for this, including genetics, trauma, and stress. While experts are still debating over whether one causes the other, it’s become clear that mental health disorders can often lead to addiction. However, addiction is not a disease, rather a symptom of someone struggling with their mental health. When treating mental health and addiction, it is crucial to focus on the solution and not the “problem.” Rickard Elmore Treatment Strategies’ Treatment Planning Service is an imperative element to our client’s success during and after treatment.  It has proved unrivaled education that includes a variety of options that will be specialized to your specific situation. Many of our clients describe Rickard Elmore Intervention as a transformative, life-changing experience. With Rickard Elmore, you can create a brand new life. For more information on our services and how we can help you become the best version of yourself, call us today at (877) 387-7197.