Mental health symptoms and substance use sometimes go hand-in-hand. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that roughly 7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in the United States.
Why do Mental Health and Substance Use Often Co-Occur?
Sometimes early onset substance use, to include alcohol use, can preclude the onset of mental health symptoms later in someone’s life. Furthermore, mental health symptoms can, at times, be so severe that substance use is the only way to relieve some or all of the mental health symptoms someone experiences. But this comes at a cost.
What is The Cost of Self-Medicating?
At first, using substances to help with mental health symptoms can work effectively. The challenge with this is that the body builds up tolerance to substances and then more and more amounts of the substance are needed to reach the desired effect. This can be a dangerous spiral
Which Issue Should Individual Therapy Focus on First?
Co-occurring treatment for both mental health and substances should occur simultaneously. Recovery from substance use and mental health looks differently for every person. There is no handbook that outlines specifically how to reach recovery in your life. But it won’t happen passively. It will take patience, grit, and compassion to reach and maintain recovery.
What Can Help Reach Recovery?
- Kevin Petersen and his work is supporting families that experience addiction challenges and can be a great resource.
- Alcohol Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- SMART Recovery Groups
There are many different resources to support those who experience either mentalhealth or addiction or both. Finding the right support group/system takes time. There’s no commitment upfront to start but it is important to have some sort of support network on the journey of recovery. It can be a lonely road.
Does Revitalize Mental Health Offer Co-Occurring Therapy?
Yes, we do. At Revitalize Mental Health we meet people where they are at in recovery and work to create a collaborative plan to realize their dreams and values. We understand that people do not change overnight and offer the support, encouragement, and challenge(s) to help people move down the recovery path. If you or someone you know could benefit from individual therapy or couples counseling, click here to submit a form to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.