27 July 2018

Guest Post: 5 Options for People With Mental Illness Overcoming Substance Addiction


5 Options for People With Mental Illness Overcoming Substance Addiction

Overcoming addiction can be a difficult challenge, especially when coupled with mental illness. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression are associated with an increased risk of addiction and a large portion of individuals with mood disorders might already have problems with substance use.
There are many types of addiction treatment out there that can be tailored to specific life situations and circumstances. Here are the best treatment programs for people working to overcome addiction and what to consider if one has a co-occurring mental health disorder.
1. Inpatient rehab
Research has shown that patients who receive a clear diagnosis of their mental illness while in rehabilitation are able to be treated more effectively. Inpatient programs offer a good option because they often have extensive resources available that help to create a structured and supportive program that makes addiction recovery a clearer path.
Inpatient rehab can be a little daunting, so if you have a loved one struggling with addiction, help them recognize the benefits of doing inpatient rehab and how it will improve their treatment.
2. Holistic programs
Holistic addiction recovery programs work to integrate whole body or whole person approaches to addiction treatment. Some of them will include unconventional supplementary treatment options including yoga or art therapy. According to the Huffington Post, many holistic addiction recovery treatment techniques overlap with tradition approaches, while others work to integrate techniques from Eastern and Western medicine or philosophy.
3. Gender-specific programs
Studies have shown that the financial opportunities or general life responsibilities that differ between genders can contribute to different addiction-related behaviors and recovery outcomes. Programs that acknowledge and work with a particular individual’s approach to gender differences offer a promising approach. They can address some of the fundamental issues of identity and personhood that might contribute to addiction.
Gender-specific programs can be effective for some people. Some people feel the most comfortable being with others of the same sex and that comfort alone can help them progress in their treatment.
4. Programs for professionals and executives
Many business professionals and entrepreneurs seem to have a propensity for addiction. Finding a program that can help you work through your illness while continuing to make career progress might be something that is extremely important to you.
It’s also important to understand laws that protect you if you enter an addiction recovery program. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects individuals who are entering addiction recovery programs from losing their jobs. This can help with recovery, as individuals who have some structure in their life are able to recover more effectively.
5. Religious programs
According to the Washington Times, studies have shown that religious belief and participation are associated with a reduced rate of drug abuse and dependence. Most 12-step programs have some aspect of spiritual recovery as part of their program because it has a time-tested effectiveness. Getting at the spiritual root of addiction allows a person going through recovery to find solutions that fundamentally change their worldview and the way that they construct meaning.
Physicians can develop more detailed treatment strategies that are capable of disentangling the comorbidity of mental health problems and addiction. They can do this by examining how symptoms of mental illness or addiction present themselves or carefully consider how symptoms presented themselves in the course of drug use.
There are many different treatment options for overcoming substance abuse, and there’s no one right way to help one recover. If you or a loved one are looking into treatment, be patient as you figure out which treatment is right for you. It can take time, but it doesn’t mean you are a failure if a treatment didn’t work out for you. Just keep looking.

 Photo credit: Unsplash

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