Are you currently suffering from chemical dependency? If so, you’re not alone — studies indicate that tens of millions of Americans are currently battling addiction. One of the reasons that the problem is so endemic is that many people do not realize that addiction is a complex illness and not just a weakness of the will. And while substance abuse is detrimental to a person’s physical health, it has a severe impact on your mental health as well.
To make a long story short, chemical dependency and mental illness have a much closer relationship than you might think.
How Are Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Linked?
When you look closer at each issue, substance dependency and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD regularly go hand in hand. If you have one, the other is often lurking close by. The fact of the matter is that individuals with mental issues of this kind often become involved with substance abuse. Study after study demonstrates that individuals with these conditions are several times more likely to use alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine, among many other substances.
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
Experts estimate that up to 20% of the U.S. population is battling some form of mental health issue at some point. And in recent years, these numbers have only increased. With so many of us suffering, it’s not surprising that some feel hopeless and end up reaching for an easy solution.
This is why one of the most common connections between chemical dependency and mental illness is using substances as a form of self-medication. Many different chemicals offer this type of short-term solution for those struggling with mental illness, and they are commonly found in prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and alcohol.
However, these behaviors aren’t always easy to spot. This is why you must be vigilant if you think you or someone you know might be using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. Someone suffering from severe social anxiety might binge drink before a big event. This is because alcohol makes them less anxious. An individual suffering from exhaustion because of the strain of work might abuse Ritalin, Adderall, or other energy-boosting drugs. Someone suffering from clinical depression might abuse their anti-depressants or attempt to “escape” their depression with marijuana or alcohol.
Those with mental illness often reach for drugs, alcohol, and other substances as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, the release offered by these chemicals is short-lived and does little in the long term to alleviate their symptoms.
The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
In a dual diagnosis treatment program like the one at Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we treat substance abuse issues alongside mental health conditions. The numerous benefits of this approach include but are not limited to:
- Providing comprehensive treatment for both conditions – The dual diagnosis treatment programs at Sunflower Wellness Retreat are designed to help you find balance by healing your mind, body, and spirit. This kind of comprehensive treatment will give you the foundation that you need for genuine, long-term recovery.
- Repairing broken and strained relationships – Addiction often causes individuals to distance themselves from friends and family. Getting help from a dual diagnosis treatment program like the one at Sunflower Wellness Retreat can help you rebuild those strong interpersonal relationships that make other parts of life in recovery more manageable.
- Teaching coping skills – Often, people turn to drug use to manage the stressors and triggers they encounter in life. In Sunflower Wellness Retreat’s dual diagnosis programs, our team equips you with healthy strategies designed to help you cope with stress. These include holistic approaches like yoga and meditation.
- Helping you identify triggers – The triggers in our lives are the people, places, and situations that push you to want to drink or use drugs. A dual diagnosis treatment program like the one at Sunflower Wellness Retreat will help you identify the triggers in your life and develop strategies to avoid them.
- Building a support network – There will be challenging days in recovery. Our Sunflower Wellness Retreat team will be there for you every step of the way with the support you need to get through the difficult times ahead.
Reach out to Sunflower Wellness Retreat to Learn More About Dual Diagnosis
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. You or your loved one don’t have to suffer the mental conditions 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, the team at Sunflower Wellness Retreat can give you the tools you need to achieve genuine, long-term sobriety. Reach out to us online today or call 855.730.8825 to learn more.