Is Mental Illness Present Along with an Addiction?

When seeking treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is essential to choose a treatment plan that includes coping with  co-occurring disorders. A co-occurring condition includes various types of mental health illnesses, and it is possible, even likely, to have one or more of these in combination with an addiction.

You Can Still Overcome an Addiction

Having a mental illness in combination with an addiction can make a treatment plan more complicated as it may mean a dual diagnosis before beginning a rehabilitation program. Despite having an addiction to more than one substance along with having a co-occurring condition, it is possible to overcome an addiction with the proper treatment plan.

Understand Your Addiction

It is important to know what type of addiction you have before planning your treatment. So, therapist need honest answers about usage and drugs of choice, including:

• Methamphetamine
• Cocaine
• Heroin
• Prescription medications
• Depressants
• Stimulants
• Hallucinogens
• Inhalants

There are numerous types of drugs that are smoked, injected or inhaled, and people often might use a drug without knowing what it is. There are also synthetic drugs that are available in stores but that are mixed in home laboratories, making the substances more dangerous.

Diagnose Your Mental Illness

People struggling with mental health disorders often take illegal drugs or combine alcohol and illegal substances to reduce the symptoms of their condition. This type of behavior makes mental illness worse, especially when with a dual diagnosis. In some cases, the mental illness is not yet identified because there hasn’t been a visit with a psychiatrist. Often there is denial about mental illness due to embarrassment or the fear of having a negative label from others.

Several types of mental health disorders that can coexist with a drug or alcohol addiction, including:

• Attention deficit disorders
• Anxiety disorders
• Depression
• Bipolar disorders
• Eating disorders
• Post-traumatic stress disorders
• Schizophrenia
• Dementia
• Personality disorders

It is also possible to have one or more brain traumas that affect the functions of cognitive abilities or emotional control. Occasionally, an addict will have a genetic defect of the brain that alters thinking or behavioral patterns. Having a mental condition that isn’t properly controlled with medications or therapy can make an individual more likely to begin addictive behaviors.

Find the Right Rehabilitation Facility

Once a decision is made to overcome an addiction, it’s important to seek a high-quality facility that offers residential or outpatient treatment with customized rehabilitation plans. The first step may be detoxification, and this can last for several days. During this time, the focus is placed on overcoming the mental and physical cravings for alcohol and drugs.

Treat Your Mental Condition

While people might feel discouraged by having several issues to address while in rehabilitation, it is still possible to overcome a bad addiction. A psychiatrist can help determine what types of co-occurring disorders require medication once detox is complete. It is important that medications used won’t interfere with an overall treatment plan for overcoming an addiction.

Choose Long-term Treatment

Rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol generally involves a minimum of 28 days, but many experts suggest longer treatment times in a supervised facility. If someone has a complicated history with alcohol and drugs in combination with a mental health condition, then it can take longer to become healthy again. During  inpatient rehabilitation, the majority of days are spent participating in private and group counseling sessions to help uncover why illegal substances are used to cope with problems.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

Rehabilitation facilities also have numerous 12-step meetings for support. At these meeting individuals talk about their addictions and share their own struggles openly.  Attending these meetings is strongly suggested, and often continued throughout life. The information disclosed in these meetings is confidential, so people speak freely without worrying about their struggles with addiction and/or mental health disorders being found out by others. If a mental health disorder is diagnosed, continued work with a trusted therapists helps overcome the problems associated with the condition and to monitor any medications that have been prescribed.


If you are struggling with addiction and or mental health issues, call us at New Vista Behavioral Health today. Our dedicated, licensed health care professionals are ready to help you get back the life you deserve. We believe in holistic, integrated care, meaning that we will work with you to optimize your overall health and wellbeing.


Make The Choice Back To Health Today. Call us at 844-406-1239.

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If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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