Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest Post: The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Mental Health

As my regular readers know, both substance abuse and mental health are issues near & dear to my heart, so I was understandably excited to get this guest post from Reginald Guerrerro.


The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Mental HealthBoth substance abuse and mental health issues are serious problems that people face daily. Neither of them is a joke, and individuals can be seriously hurt by the consequences of these conditions. When we talk about substance abuse, what exactly is its connection to mental health? Read on to find out!


Substance abuse can often lead to a lot of problems with a person's mental health. The addiction to a substance, whether it be alcohol or a drug, does not only have to be physical, it can also be mental. In a person's mind, he or she might truly believe that the substance is a driving force that gets him or her through the day. As a result of these beliefs, one's mental health can really take a downward spiral.


Substance abuse can also change the way that a person perceives him or herself, as well the surrounding environment. As a result, one's mental health may be changed. It's common to distrust family and friends, or think that everyone is trying to harm you. Body image problems are common too, and its common to eventually feel like there's no use participating in beloved activities or anything common to general society as a whole.

Therapy as Treatment
Therapy is a way of strengthening one's mental health, and substance abuse is no exception to this rule. Yes, medications or rehab might be used to help wean a person off of drugs or alcohol, but an underlying problem might cause one to participate in these dangerous activities in the first place. Simply speaking with someone before a problem manifests can often ensure  that it's nipped in the bud.

Simultaneous Treatment Programs
Now, just because a person has a mental health issue does not mean that he or she abuses drugs or alcohol. Likewise, an individual who abuses one or more of these substances does not necessarily have a mental health issue. However, sometimes these struggles do go hand in hand. As a result, many treatment programs seek to address both of them. Through a variety of methods, trained professionals are able to lead those who suffer away from this darkness and into a better place, by addressing both of these issues at the same time. Therefore, the two often have a close connection.

The relationship between substance abuse and mental health is very complicated. Furthermore, a substance abuse program is not always indicative of a mental health issue - other factors could be the cause. Despite these facts, a connection is often found to exist, and it's important to recognize and understand the issues. With knowledge under your belt, you can truly live life to the fullest and move on from your problems.

Reginald Guerrerro writes about health and education. A substance abuse center administrator, he loves to write about the best online MHA programs.

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