Drug abuse is rampant. It almost seems like a lifestyle choice, especially where drugs like marijuana are concerned. The pressures of life may be pushing people to find relief in drugs. Perhaps it’s the availability of resources because drugs can be pretty expensive. Whatever the case, drug abuse is rampant, and its leading people down the path of mental illness.
According to this research, 53 percent of drug abusers also suffer from a mental illness. Therefore, although some drugs such as marijuana are considered stress relievers, they can be a gateway to addiction and mental diseases.
However, some people may argue that issues such as depression, financial instability , or abuse lead to mental disorders and drug use. Is that a fact, or is there another correlation between drug abuse and mental health? Let’s find out.
What is drug abuse?
Drug abuse is the unauthorized or excess intake of prescription medication, opioids, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and recreational drugs such as marijuana or cocaine. Drug abuse can also occur as a result of over consuming medication prescribed to treat and manage mental ailments such as anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, or Bipolar disorder.
Once people are prescribed medication, some continue self-medicating after the prescription period. Other people turn to drugs, as a way of dealing with problems such as joblessness, failed relationships, or loss and grief. This is where the purchase of illegal drugs comes in.
Symptoms of drug abuse include;
- Lying about the amount of prescription medication you are taking
- Exhibiting rowdy and irrational behavior due to intoxication
- Behaving irresponsibly. This can manifest in behaviors such as missing work and not meeting your financial or family obligations
- Physically or emotionally abusing your loved ones
These are some signs to look for in a person you suspect is suffering from drug abuse or mental health problems. But how do you identify these issues in yourself? You may;
- Have trouble concentrating when you are not high
- Suffer insomnia and extreme mood swings
- Make poor decisions due to impaired judgment
- Behave in a hyperactive manner
- Express grandiose beliefs and build castles in the air
How does drug abuse lead to mental ill-health?
Some mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, develop from birth. But others, such as anxiety or depression, may happen due to life circumstances. These difficulties can lead to substance abuse as the affected people try to balance themselves. And once drugs come in, mental health issues such as Paranoia come in.
The state of your mind determines your life path. Your thoughts guide your decisions, which is why mental health is so important. When you are on drugs, your mental stability is thrown into disarray. As a result, your life is also destabilized.
But drugs cannot destroy your mental health if you seek solutions from a mental health expert. These professionals are equipped to help you manage mental health disorders.
Unfortunately, very few of us consult mental health experts for help. Instead, most individuals find it easier to turn to drugs, in a futile effort to quietly manage our issues. A significant reason for this is the fear of stigma. Noone wants people to know they see a therapist or “shrink.”
Some people also feel that consulting a therapist is a sign that they cannot handle situations in their life. While many others cannot afford the cost of mental health. Therefore, drugs become a crutch, prison, or something to hide behind, instead of finding healthy solutions.
How to avoid drug abuse
When substance abuse is used to deal with mental health problems, they become co-occurring disorders that can wreck your life. These problems only get worse when ignored. Therefore, if you are facing drug abuse or mental health challenges, find a solution.
However, several things could interfere with your choice to avoid drugs and pursue mental stability. One is denial, whereby you feel in control of your drug intake and refuse to admit to yourself that you are a drug addict. Another could be a false sense of security that makes drugs look like your quick solution to every challenge.
Avoid these worthless escape routes and accept you have a drug abuse problem and/or a mental health condition.
An attorney near you can also help you to find laws that favor you in your drug and mental health recovery journey. An example is the Support Act that provides health facilities with help for addicts and mental health patients such as counseling, holistic care, and job training.
Choosing such practical solutions will help you to get rehabilitated from drug addiction and help you to manage any mental illness. Once you embrace this road to recovery, you can embark on rebuilding your relationship with family and friends. You will also be on track to reclaim your financial independence by going back to work.
Final thoughts on drug abuse and mental illness
Do you take drugs to control your fears, anxiety, anger, or sadness about past or present circumstances? Are you dealing with some form of mental challenge by using drugs? You are on the road to destruction.
The good news is it’s never too late to visit a psychiatrist, counselor, or go for drug rehab. Mental health and addiction professionals can help you get your life back on track, by showing you practical and proven ways to clean drugs from your system. Additionally, they can help you to unearth and face the underlying issues that may be causing your addiction and mental health challenges.