In order to effectively treat substance abuse, such as to drugs or alcohol, it is important to identify the reasons why the addition started. Some individuals get hooked on drugs and alcohol simply because of the crowd they run around with. These are addictive substances, and periodic use can lead to addiction. However, there are many other reasons why people seek the effects of addictive substances regularly. There is a strong link between mental health and substance abuse, and a closer look can be eye-opening.

Numbing Emotional Pain

People manage their emotions in different ways. Emotional pain from a divorce, the loss of a loved one and many other factors can be difficult to deal with. These events often contribute to clinical depression, which may be untreated. Some people want to numb their pain and manage depression with alcohol or different types of prescription or illegal drugs. Dual diagnosis treatment programs can identify if clinical depression or other mental disorders are impacting a patient’s addiction and substance abuse.

Preventing Panic Attacks

Anxiety is problematic for many people. Some people experience relatively high levels of anxiety at work because of high-stress positions or overbearing bosses. Others have anxiety in their personal lives. Anxiety may be related to post traumatic stress disorder, such as after a car accident or another traumatic event. When individuals feel panic attacks coming on, they may reach for medications or alcohol to calm down and to prevent the discomfort of severe anxiety.

Managing Social Anxiety

The use of drugs and alcohol in social situations is common. Social anxiety can leave you feeling tongue-tied, awkward and even like an outsider despite being among friends. Drugs and alcohol may be used to let loose and relax. Many people cannot be in social situations without feeling inclined to use addictive substances.

Increasing Drive and Energy Levels

Depression can be caused by many things, and a hallmark symptom regardless of the cause of depression is fatigue. This may extend to decreased motivation to participate in activities that were once enjoyable. It may even be difficult to get out of bed in the morning and to walk through a typical day. Some types of drugs provide the pick-me-up that people feel like they need.

Without diagnosing and treating the underlying mental health issue, substance abuse treatment may be ineffective. A dual diagnosis and well-rounded treatment plan is essential in situations like these.