• Staff Writer

Recovery and Mental Health


Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey that ebbs and flows. It is a complicated process with many aspects that require focus and attention. Within this is mental health treatment.

Mental health and mental illnesses are not separate from substance use disorder (SUD). SUD is a multi-faceted mental disorder commonly linked to other mental conditions like anxiety or depression. Treating one without the other can lead to relapse. It is essential to understand that recovering from an addiction often includes treating a co-occurring mental illness.


The Link Between Addiction and Mental Health


Although SUD is a mental disorder, researchers claim that about half of those who experience a SUD also experience a co-occurring mental illness and vice versa. This link does not necessarily mean that SUD causes mental illnesses, but risk factors can contribute to the likelihood of a dual diagnosis. Some reasons the two are so interlinked include:

  • Family history: Being exposed to mental illnesses and addiction through experiences or genetics makes people vulnerable to developing similar issues

  • Self-medicating: An untreated mental disorder can lead a person to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to reduce the symptoms. Long-term use leads to SUD and can worsen the effects of the pre-existing mental illness

  • Substance use: Extensive use of drugs or alcohol and the development of SUD can alter the brain’s function and lead to an increased likelihood of a mental illness

While the risk factors for both SUD and mental illnesses are similar, so are the effects of both. Several symptoms of these disorders can overlap, meaning it can be challenging to know what you need help with and get an accurate diagnosis.

The following symptoms can signify both SUD and a mental illness:

  • Poor focus or attendance at work or school

  • Behavioral changes like fighting, aggression, or outbursts

  • Changes in sleep

  • Altered appetite or changes in weight

  • Mood swings and personality changes

  • Increased fatigue or hyperactivity

  • Lack of motivation

  • Increased anxiety or paranoia

  • Depression

Mental Health and Addiction Treatment


With the symptoms of mental illnesses and SUD coinciding, it can be difficult to diagnose such disorders. When someone seeks help for either of these, the person should go through detox. Once substances are expelled safely from the body, a mental health professional can make a more accurate diagnosis.

The complexity of SUD and mental illnesses need sobriety to be caught and treated successfully. An integrated approach to the treatment is ideal for a co-occurring disorder. Due to the overlapping symptoms, a professional will need to do a comprehensive individual assessment to enact an effective treatment plan. Depending on the person’s intensity of symptoms, their plan can be altered.

Addiction does not often form out of thin air. It is usually a result of trauma, stress, familial or financial struggles, or a combination. Even without a diagnosis like anxiety or depression, mental health treatment is always a key aspect of addiction treatment. This means that even without a doctor offering a specific diagnosis, an individual highly benefits from mental health intervention during addiction treatment.

Offering targeted therapy options to SUD clients with a co-occurring disorder is essential to accepting their disorder and furthering their recovery. It is also crucial for all medications and treatment plans to incorporate comorbidity.


Mental Health and Recovery


As a person works their way through treatment and into lifelong recovery, ensuring that their mental health and wellness are continued priorities improve their success and decrease the chance of relapse. If someone struggling with anxiety, for instance, was using alcohol as a means of self-medication, went through treatment for SUD, and then stopped treating their anxiety, their odds of relapse are greater.

Maintaining a balanced mental state through medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes is vital to maintaining sobriety. By working on your mental wellness, you progress further through recovery. Recovery does not have a stop date. As your life changes, you experience stress and work through struggles; you will continue incorporating your mental health treatment to maintain your recovery and overall wellness. Using the tools you learned during SUD and mental health treatment throughout your life, you continue to grow and build on those coping mechanisms.

Mental health is a significant part of everyone’s lives, but mental health treatment must be prioritized and continually cared for in those struggling with SUD. The more you integrate the lessons from treatment into your reality, the stronger you get and the more capable you become. As you then witness your growth, your faith and confidence increase too, and you become a stronger individual. The moment you begin to see that, your whole life changes.


Your mental health is not just something your care for with baths and relaxation but should be a lifelong focus. Without attention to your mental wellness, you are at a greater risk for SUD and co-occurring disorders. Here at California Care Detox & Treatment, we offer multiple therapy modalities, medication, and treatment for anyone facing such struggles. We provide individualized care that meets your needs. You and your family will benefit from our unique treatment plan that puts your wellness first. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you recover from addiction. Your mental health and happiness are our number one priority. With onsite detox, inpatient residential treatment, dual diagnosis, and same-day admission, we can help you starting right now. Call us now at (949) 281-0632, and we will do everything we can to ensure your satisfaction with our care.

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