Are you currently suffering from chemical dependency?
If so, you’re not alone — according to SAMHSA, 20.2 million U.S. adults had a substance use disorder in the past year.
A substance abuse problem is detrimental to your physical health, but it could be having a severe impact on your mental health as well.
Chemical dependency and mental illness have a much closer relationship than you might think.
How Are They Linked?
When you look closer at each issue, substance dependency and mental illness usually go hand in hand. If you have one, the other is often lurking close by.
For example, those with mental illness are the top purchasers of many chemical substances. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, mental illness increases the use of addictive goods and the numbers might shock you.
Mental illness increases the use of alcohol by 20%, the use of cocaine by 27% and the use of cigarettes by 87%. In addition, people who have ever experienced mental illness consume about 69% of all alcohol sold, 84% of all cocaine, and 68% of all cigarettes sold.
So it’s clear that there’s a link between substance dependency and mental illness but where does this come from? Why are those with mental illness more likely to use drugs and alcohol? Many are looking for a short-term solution.
Using Chemicals as Self-Medication
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness in a given year. This equals out to a staggering 43.8 million people.
With so many of us suffering from mental illness, it’s not surprising that some feel hopeless and often reach for an easy, if only short-term, solution.
This is probably why one of the most common connects between chemical dependency and mental illness is using substances as a form of self-medication.
There are many different chemicals out there that offer a short-term solution for those struggling with mental illness, and they are commonly found in prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and alcohol.
What Are Some Examples?
These behaviors aren’t always easy to spot. So pay extra attention if you think you or someone you know might be using this coping mechanism.
For example, someone suffering from severe social anxiety might binge drink before a big event. This is because alcohol makes them less anxious.
A patient suffering from extreme low-energy might abuse Ritalin, Adderall or other energy-boosting drugs.
Finally, someone suffering from clinical depression might abuse their anti-depressants. They could even overdose on recreational drugs as a distraction from the stress of their everyday lives.
Those with mental illness often reach for drugs, alcohol and other substances as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, many of them feel hopeless and these chemicals offer a short sense of relief.
Ready to Treat Chemical Dependency?
Whether it’s you or someone you know who is suffering, there is a way to get help.
Sunflower Wellness Retreat has treatment options for a wide range of substance dependencies. These include alcohol abuse, drug addiction or any other substance abuse problem. You or your loved one don’t have to suffer the mental illnesses associated with chemical dependency alone.
For more information on what our retreats have to offer, visit our services page and then read more about our admissions process. No matter what chemical dependency you’re struggling with, we have a solution, so contact us today.