The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” Addiction, clinically known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli without regard for consequence.
Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Mental health is sometimes used as a term to indicate the absence of a mental disorder. Addiction is a disease that compels an individual to prioritize satisfying his or her substance cravings above all else. This can wreak havoc in all facets of one’s life, causing a plethora of adverse effects, including physiological complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal challenges, employment issues, and more. Studies also show that substance use disorder increases one’s risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
It is not uncommon for individuals with addiction to suffer from another co-occurring mental health disorder. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) assert that nearly half of the people “who have a mental [health] disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa.” When an individual is diagnosed with substance use disorder and another co-occurring mental health illness it is referred to as a dual diagnosis. The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found approximately 8.1 percent of individuals in the United States are living with mental illness and substance use disorder. This amounts to more than 8.5 million Americans who were found to have both a substance use disorder and mental illness.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org