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Ways to manage emotional stress to stop substance abuse

The close relationship between substance abuse and mental issues is a known thing. Family disputes, relationship troubles, job conflicts, health issues, etc. are some of the usual triggers of stress that may over time induce a person to seek the help of substances, such as alcohol, drugs, etc. Stress, being an inevitable part of one’s life, can fall heavy on a person and push him or her toward an addiction, if not handled with strong will and determination. Continue reading

Comorbid psychiatric disorders and substance use disorder may manifest themselves in varying degrees

There is always a possibility of substance use disorder and mental health illnesses to occur simultaneously which is commonly known as dual diagnosis. Though either one of them may appear first, the need for diagnosing both of them becomes a necessity for the overall health of an individual. For example, a mental disorder may not be diagnosed until the symptoms have increased to a certain specified level. Therefore, establishing the causality or directionality of both the disorders are not at all easy. Still, three scenarios deserve attention in which probably each contributes in varying degrees to how specific comorbidities could manifest themselves: Continue reading

Why do substance use disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses?

Substance use disorders and mental illnesses often go hand in hand as people addicted to drugs have twice the higher risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders as compared to general people and vice-versa. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), around 8.1 million adults (3.3 percent of all adults) reported co-occurrence of any mental illness (AMI) and substance use disorder (SUDs) in the past year, while 2.3 million adults (1.0 percent of all adults) were suffering from co-occurring serious mental illnesses (SMI) and SUDs in 2015. Continue reading

Treatment for substance abuse, mental illness during reformation may help tackle recidivism

“Once a criminal, always a criminal,” they say. It may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all. For some, crime is the way to life. However, in many cases, the tendency to commit repeat offense emanates from a substance use disorder (SUD), a mental illness, or both – a condition known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. The tendency to go back to jail, also termed as “recidivism,” can sometimes be blamed on any of the three conditions mentioned above, it has been found. And the way American jails are overcrowding, recidivism is seen as a major contributor to it.

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Depression may prompt teenagers to depend on e-cigarettes, says study

Electronic cigarettes were initially introduced as an effective alternative to traditional cigarettes. Scientists hailed e-cigarettes as an important discovery as some studies published during initial stages stressed on how efficacious e-cigarette use would be for those seeking relief from their smoking habits but are not able to rid themselves of their dependence on nicotine. Elaborating on what led to the rising popularity of e-cig use in America, Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said, “If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will come only if they are effective at helping smokers stop using cigarettes completely, responsibly marketed to adult smokers and properly regulated to achieve these goals.” Continue reading

Depression and the road to substance abuse

Depression, a mental disorder that affects millions of people across the world, keeps the patients away from living a normal and happy life by triggering life-disruptive mood, cognitive, psychiatric and physical problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7.6 percent of the Americans in the age group 12 and above suffered from this psychiatric disorder during 2009 to 2012. Though the effects of depression are more pronounced in the case of women and elderly, the above eye-opening statistics reveal the increase in the magnitude of this disorder across all age groups. Continue reading

Scientists hint at causal association between schizophrenia and marijuana

Scientists have always stressed on how mentally ill patients are more vulnerable to using drugs in an attempt to self-medicate or seek necessary relief from its symptoms. A group of researchers in their study titled “Assessing causality in associations between cannabis use and schizophrenia risk: a two-sample Mendelian randomization study” have suggested that marijuana users are at increased risk of being affected with schizophrenia. Continue reading

Most common mental health disorder in people addicted to alcohol

Some conditions seem to have a strong correlation with each other. For example, heart disease and diabetes often reside side by side in a patient, and allergies often come hand in hand with asthma. Similarly, it is quite common for alcohol or substance abusers to exhibit the traits of a specific mental disorder, such as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). As alcoholism camouflages the symptoms of ASPD, it is often quite difficult to diagnose this mental disorder. Continue reading