Researchers have come to the conclusion that most people who suffer from a mental health disorder also suffer from substance abuse disorder; and vice versa. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that the existence of one form of these two disorders leads to an increased risk of the other one. For instance, it has been determined that individuals with anxiety disorder are twice as likely to abuse or become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol than those who do not have a mental health illness. The opposite has also been proven to be true: people who abuse or who are addicted to substances are twice as likely to develop anxiety disorder.
Furthermore, it has been found that people who suffer from a dual diagnosis experience long-lasting and more severe symptoms than patients who suffer from only a substance abuse disorder or a mental health disorder. Additionally, the symptoms that patients who are diagnosed with both disorders are more likely to be resistant to treatment.
For these reasons, it is vital for patients with a dual diagnosis to seek treatment at a drug rehab center that focuses on treating both disorders.
According to the research that has been conducted, it’s not surprising that mental illness and drug abuse and addiction are so strongly linked. Both affect the brain in that they alter the structure and function of the brain. The parts of the brain that are affected by drugs and alcohol intersect with the parts of the brain that are affected by mental health disorders, like schizophrenia and depression. This evidence strongly indicates that the changes in the brain that are connected with either substance abuse or mental illness are very likely to affect the course or outcome of the other diagnosis.