Addiction is a brain disorder that can occur to anyone, especially those who are not careful about their choices and decisions in their lives. There is no criteria that defines the type or category of individuals who are at a risk of developing addiction. However, there are factors that can trigger its development, be it environmental, genetics, early use, drug of choice, method of use, stress, fear or any form of mental illness.
There has been a marked rise in the number of such cases in the United States in the past few years. According to the recent numbers revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation has seen an increase of 16.3 percent in drug overdose deaths between June 2016 and June 2017.
Experts feel that the possibility that addiction develops if a pre-existing mental illness has not been dealt with strongly. On the other hand, it is also likely that a person opts to use a certain drug intentionally and then, a physical dependence or addiction is formed unintentionally.
Addiction is a chronic illness
For someone who is dealing with any form of mental illness or life stresses, developing an addiction becomes a greater probability. This is because he/she might choose to deal with his/her mental illness in an unhealthy way, such as using drugs to deal with its symptoms. At times, there might be a case when a person opts to use prescription drugs to self-medicate, but that too is harmful as it leads to forming an addiction.
As per a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report, chances of forming an addiction were also very high in people who were dealing with mood disorders. So, preventing the development of addiction becomes a possibility if the mood disorder is diagnosed properly and treated on time. In other words, this implies that a pre-existing mental illness increases an individual’s risk of forming an addiction, thus leading to co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis or comorbidity.
Addiction is not a choice
Comorbidity is a term used for the condition where mental illness and substance addiction exist simultaneously. It is a condition that is quite a common occurrence. But, as is commonly believed, this does not necessarily imply that the presence of one leads to another. Therefore, it is not easy to describe the sequence in which the two disorders might have developed.
Addiction is never a conscious choice made by an individual. While he/she might have been introduced to it through friends or have had it in the likelihood of the doctor prescribing highly addictive medications like benzodiazepines and opiates. Moreover, an irresponsible treatment by a doctor could also lead to addiction.
One must understand that an individual must not resort to taking drugs as a way to deal with his or her mental illness. The damage caused by drug addiction, be it in terms of physical health, mental health or financial loss, cannot be ignored. Therefore, treating it as a technique to make life better or deal with the troubles easily is incorrect as addiction is only damaging and can never be harmless.
Road to recovery
If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, mental illness, or both, the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline can help. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online with one of our experts for details about the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in California.