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How Does Substance Abuse Contribute to Mental Health Problems

There are many ways that cause mental health problems but one of the most common ways

that it is cause is by substances abuse.

Substances abuse, refer to the use of illegal drugs or over the counter drugs for purposed other than those which they are meant to use or in excess amounts, having an effect on your life and relationships.

If a person have both substance abuse problem and a mental health issue such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety, this person is said to have a dual diagnosis or cooccurring disorder.


It is difficult to identify dual diagnosis since the similarities of symptoms of substance abuse and mental health problems. It is also be due to the denial of having a dual diagnosis. However, there are general warning signs such as the use of substances to cope with memories, feelings, pain, intensity of your mood and focus on tasks. The most common symptom is psychosis, I.e. processing the world around you differently from others such as experiences, beliefs and perspectives. Common mental health problems associated with substance abuse are depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder and PTSD. Due to the negative problems associated with it, it is really important to identify.


Having dual diagnosis makes the situation more complicated since both problems can directly

affect each other, this makes it very difficult for the person in daily life such as the ability to

function at school or at work. This is due to that both problems share similar underlying reasons such as brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities and exposure to stress or trauma.

If one problem gets worse, the other also does too. Because of this, the best method of treating dual diagnosis is with an integrated approach, where both substance abuse and mental health problems are treated simultaneously. This is typically coordinated by general practitioners. There are programs that address both issues at the same time. Methods may include talk therapy in a group, managing stress and emotions, creating new relationships and lifestyle changes. Those with close relationships with those who have dual diagnosis can encourage and support them to get the help that they need

In conclusion, substances abuse and mental illness problems although may be difficult to

identify, it must be managed to prevent further harm to the person. The treatment of both

problems must be carried out simultaneously in order to preventing them from getting worse.

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