When reaching the goal of fighting and preventing addiction, discovering the all of the possible reasons behind an addiction is necessary. Numerous studies have found that the correlation behind mental health and addiction should not be ignored; at times underlying mental health issues may cause an addiction, and at other times an addiction can bring on mental health issues.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that more than one in four adults who have a substance abuse issue also has mental health problems. The main mental health issues are four common disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.
In the case of individuals with a mental health disorder, the National Bureau of Economic Research states that 84 percent of these individuals have consumed cocaine, and 68 percent of these individuals have also consumed tobacco in their lives.
Self medication is often the cause of individuals with mental health issues to delve in substance abuse. Individuals turn to social drinking to relieve anxiety at social events which leads to alcoholism, an individual discovers that marijuana lessens the internal mental anguish and begins to depend on it to function every day; cocaine and unprescribed Adderall is taken to combat the lethargy caused by depression.
In turn, using substances such as alcohol, cocaine, etc. can increase the severity of a mental health issue or place an individual in circumstances that can create or worsen a condition. Illicit use of substances can cause delusion and paranoia while under the influence and cause depression when the drug effects wear off. Substance abuse can also cause poor decision making skills and cause traumatizing situations such as rape and life-altering diseases that can add Post Traumatic Syndrome to already present conditions.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse goes as far as to state that addiction is actually a mental illness in itself. The brain undergoes mental changes when addiction is involved; it causes changes in priorities to cater to the substance. Negative impulses then become stronger to create the symptoms of many mental illness, and make it more difficult to treat.
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