The stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders continue to be one of the most influential factors contributing to the high rates of untreated substance use disorders and mental illnesses affecting the lives of millions in the country. Stigma is also an outcome of cultural and faith-based factors that often leads to marginalization of people suppressing their voices and creating barriers to treatment.
People from the minority communities, refugees and immigrant populations fear backlash from the mainstream society and their own perceptions borne out of beliefs in their faith and culture impact their access to treatment services. Other factors like poverty, insurance coverage and language barriers add to their woes. Continue reading
The symptoms of mental disorders are often witnessed among individuals who abuse drugs and vice versa. Numerous surveys have reflected and documented the comorbidity of substance addiction and mental disorders across the United States.
To grasp the nature of this comorbidity, it is important to understand that addiction is also a mental disorder. It is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable cravings for the substance of abuse. Continue reading
Certain medications remain the mainstay to treat some mental disorders. Whether it is for depression, anxiety, psychosis or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills works in most cases. Besides medication, psychotherapies and brain stimulation approaches also play a major role in treating mental disorders. Continue reading
Mental disorders and associated symptoms are often diagnosed in individuals who abuse drugs and vice versa. The coexistence of two different diseases is popularly known as co-occurring diseases or dual diagnosis. Various national surveys since the 1980s have reflected and documented the comorbidity of substance abuse and mental disorders across the United States. Continue reading
A night out with friends after a grueling week of back-to-back travel and intense work pressure seems like a brilliant idea. Unrestrained chatting, dancing on Jim Morrison songs and doing back-to-back vodka shots give a rare kind of a high, and an escape from the drudgery of life. However, the same high turns into a horrid experience the following morning when one gets a hangover. Continue reading
Alcohol is an omnipresent beverage in the social circles of the United States – be it a wedding, a get-together over a weekend, cracking a huge business deal or feeling elated. Young or old, alcohol is consumed by one and all, irrespective of any barriers to age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status etc. Continue reading
While some people might be popularly known as perfectionists or idealists due to their obsession with cleanliness and orderliness, their irresistible impulse to indulge in certain activities or behavioral patterns can be a warning sign of an underlying mental or personality problem. Often diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the people as perfectionist, as mentioned above struggle with the intrusive thoughts. Continue reading
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
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
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