Your mental health is an essential component of your overall health. Whether you or someone you love has struggled with mental health or addiction, it’s important to recognize that these two issues could be tied together. For some people, substance abuse impacts their mental health. For others, their mental health causes substance abuse as a way of coping.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse mentions that around one in four people who have a serious mental illness also struggle with a substance use disorder. Further data suggest that around forty-three percent of those people also use prescription painkillers as a part of their SUD.
In a study by Karen J. Harwell, MD, Bryan K. Tolliver, MD, Ph.D., and Kathleen T. Brady, MD, Ph.D., it was determined that chronic alcohol and drug use could lead to neuroadaptations that would cause psychiatric disorders. At Memphis Recovery Centers, our team of experts treats both mental health and addiction so that people have the best chance possible to maintain their recovery.
Why Do Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction Occur Together?
In addiction recovery, it’s often found that co-occurring disorders happen together because of:
- Common risk factors
- Mental illness that triggers substance abuse
- Substance abuse that triggers mental illness
In a way, these disorders are symbiotic. One can cause the other, depending on the patient’s risk factors.
Do Genetics Play a Role in Mental Health and Addiction?
Yes, genetics do play a role in mental health and addiction. It’s believed that around forty to sixty percent of a person’s vulnerability to substance use disorders comes down to genetics.
For example, a gene can influence how a person responds to a specific drug. It might determine a higher risk of specific addictions, such as addiction to cocaine but not heroin.
Genes also work in other ways, though, such as by influencing a person’s likelihood to take risks or to participate in novelty-seeking behaviors.
Of course, there are outside influences as well. For example, some outside influences that may impact a person’s vulnerability to drug abuse or mental health disorders include:
- Exposure to trauma
- Availability of drugs or alcohol
- Peer influences
- Abuse or violent acts
These external factors can interact with genetic factors to make a person much more likely to develop a mental illness or substance use disorder.
Does Stress Play a Role in Addiction?
Yes, stress plays a major role in addiction. Stress does play a role as a risk factor for both mental illness and addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Exposure to stressors also creates a high likelihood of relapse after a person has gone through a period of recovery, no matter how long that recovery was or has been.
It is known that stresses early on in life and chronic stress can cause changes in the brain that alter the way people learn, become motivated, and adapt. These areas are damaged or impaired in those with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Can Co-Occurring Disorders Be Treated?
Yes, co-occurring disorders can most definitely be treated. During addiction recovery at Memphis Recovery Centers, our team will help people who have both mental health and substance use disorders. In fact, treating both at the same time can help reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Receive Mental Health and Addiction Treatment with Our Help
At Memphis Recovery Centers, we help anyone who needs assistance with a mental health disorder or addiction. Co-occurring disorders are common, but excellent mental health treatment and support for substance use disorders can ease the symptoms of co-occurring disorders.
We offer services such as:
If you or someone you love wants to get on the path to sobriety and better mental health, reach out to our team. Call us today at [direct] for more information on how we can help.