28 Jun Drugs and Mental Health
A chronic drug habit takes a hard toll on the body of a user. The heart, lungs, and kidneys can all take a beating over years of heavy drug use. And the organ that may be impacted most of all is the brain. More than any physical illness, drug users suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses that cause untold suffering for them and their families.
Hand in Hand
Mental health and drug abuse are tied together closely from the start. Those with mental illnesses are drawn to drugs as a means of coping with their issues and reducing their symptoms. Therefore, many addicts had problems with mental illness even before their drug problem began.
Drugs, however, only tend to be a short-term solution for mental illness. In the long run, they only make symptoms worse, sometimes dramatically so. Unfortunately, many addicts cope with these worsening symptoms of mental illness by taking even more drugs. This fuels a cycle of mental illness and increased drug consumption. As addiction gets worse, so does mental illness, and as mental illness gets worse, so does addiction.
Putting Yourself at Risk
Even if you don’t have a pre-existing mental illness, drugs can be extremely risky for you. Heavy use can trigger the development of a wide range of different mental illnesses. Depression, anxiety, even schizophrenia can all be set off by drugs. Symptoms of these illnesses may appear during drug use, but over time may stay even when drugs are not being used.
Two Headed Monster
To treat addiction, it is crucial that underlying mental illness also is targeted, and vice versa. If both problems are not addressed, an individual is also at risk of slipping back into addiction or mental illness. That’s why any recovery plan has to be well-rounded and approach addiction as one of many of a user’s problems.
Getting the Help You Need
Part of beating a drug addiction is also addressing other mental health challenges. That’s why at 7th Sky we emphasize creating a support network where individuals can work through the problems behind their drug use. By feeling comfortable speaking out, they can get the therapy they need to reach the roots of their addiction and mental illness. By joining a meeting group, you can take the first step towards beating your addiction and getting control of your mental illness.