Those suffering from mental and emotional disorders are more likely to experience problems with alcohol and substance abuse as well. Self-medication is often the most common reason for the connection. People who find their mental health symptoms uncomfortable or disruptive can turn to readily available substances, from cigarettes and alcohol to cocaine and other addictive drugs.
Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol do not have any beneficial effect on the underlying problem, and either help to delay treatment or just contribute to making the situation worse.
Conversely, certain drugs can trigger mental health symptoms, including paranoia, depression, and delusions. Even worse, people under the influence of drugs and alcohol dramatically increase their chances of becoming victims of rape, assault, and theft. They may break the law themselves, or engage in risky behavior without considering the consequences. Poor decision making with regard to sharing needles or having unprotected sex can result in Hepatitis C infections and even HIV.
When these individuals seek counseling, it is important that a thorough assessment catch any dual diagnosis of drug abuse and mental illness.
The goal is to provide a treatment program that addresses both problems at the same time, and addresses them in a compassionate but effective way to create life changing consequences.
Untreated, co-occurring disorders can spiral out of control and result in homelessness, incarceration, severe medical illness, thoughts of suicide, and early death from a number of causes, including overdoses.
At the Family Life Center, our treatment facilities are staffed with the highest level of professionals available. Masters level licensed social workers, licensed and certified counselors, certified addictions counselors, breath alcohol technicians, and a dedicated support staff. We are equipped to deal with co-occurring disorders and help restore people to their communities and to lives of self-worth and acceptance.
Give us a call at 256-845-1261 or visit our Contact Us page today.