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Is Drug Addiction a Mental Illness?

Is Drug Addiction a Mental Illness?

Addiction is a complex condition, which manifests itself in compulsive substance use or behavior in spite of known, harmful consequences. People battling addiction become so intensely focused on using to the extent it takes control, causing problems in many if not all areas of life. There is hope. With treatment, people can recover from addiction to lead healthy, normal lives.

Is addiction a mental illness? No. But it is common for people to suffer from both addictions and mental health issues. In the United States, approximately 8.9 million people have both mental health and a substance abuse issues. This is referred to as dual disorders.

Of people struggling with dual disorders, more than half don’t receive treatment for either disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling, don’t hesitate. Get help. To speak confidentially with a certified counselor now, call (888) 837-6577.

In cases of dual disorders, which came first? Did mental illness cause the addiction, or was the addiction a contributing factor to the mental illness? There isn’t a definitive answer. What is clear is that the two often coexist, each complicating the other.

The Relationship Between Addiction and Mental Illness

There is correlation. A recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study demonstrated that those who struggled with mental health issues abused drugs and/or alcohol at more than double the rate of the general public.

People who suffer with mental illness may attempt to self-medicate their symptoms with drugs and/or alcohol. When the high wears off, however, the symptoms of their mental issues return, amplified, more pronounced than they were before.

People with an addiction aren’t thinking clearly. There are chemical changes going on in the brain that cause cravings for the substance to intensify. And with every use it gets harder and harder to stop. Brain imaging has shown these brain changes, and how they impair judgment, decision making, memory and behavior.

Here is what is known:

  1. Common risk factors can contribute to both mental illness and substance use and addiction.
  2. Mental illness may contribute to substance use and addiction.
  3. Substance use and addiction can contribute to the development of mental illness.

Are you unable to stop drinking or taking drugs despite wanting to? Are mental or emotional struggles weighing you down? We understand what you are going through. We want to help.

Honey Lake Clinic’s Dual Diagnosis Program is unique, offering specialized, integrated treatment
for patients who are suffering from both addictions and mental health issues. Our treatment program will bring wholeness, healing, and restoration to your life.

Unlike most other treatment facilities, Honey Lake Clinic offers a residential, holistic program that treats each patient on three different levels:

Spiritual: Helping you grow closer to God, apply His truths, and discern His will for you.
Psychological: Teaching decision-making skills to help you cope with underlying struggles.
Physical: Using therapy and medication, if needed, to re-circuit or renew your mind.

Individualized treatment by our highly experienced, dedicated and caring team, in a supportive, healing environment—let Honey Lake Clinic help you experience transformation, mind, body and spirit.

Your healthier, happier and more hopeful future can start today with a simple phone call. Honey Lake Clinic (888) 837-6577 Email or Visit