Addiction is associated with mental health disorders, and it can affect anyone. Many people, regardless of age, upbringing, financial status, race, and education, experience mental health disorders because of addiction. Sometimes, people suffering from anxiety and depression resort to taking drugs or alcohol to relieve negative feelings.

If you know anyone experiencing the so-called co-occurring disorders, the best thing to help them is to undergo treatment at the soonest possible time.                     


Encouraging an individual to rule out the condition and undergo treatment is challenging. The first step is to have a diagnosis comprising tests.

Laboratory tests – one laboratory test required to screen drugs and alcohol is to check the function of the thyroid.

Physical exam – during the physical exam, physical problems are determined. It includes the symptoms and other factors that trigger the condition.

Psychological assessment – Seeking help from a mental health professional is essential to rule out the problem. The doctor will discuss the symptoms, behavior patterns, and thoughts through a questionnaire.

Determining which mental illness and addiction you have

After conducting all the laboratory tests, physical and psychological assessments, the doctor will have an initial diagnosis. But it is not enough to determine the prevailing mental illness. Providing accurate and more information will lead to an accurate diagnosis. The defining symptoms will lead to determining the mental illness the person has been experiencing.

  •         Bipolar

One common mental health disorder is being bipolar. The person manifests alternating episodes of depression after excessive excitement, energy, and activity.

  •         Anxiety disorders

Experiencing this emotion poses future danger caused by excessive worrying. The person may experience phobias and panic disorder. Those with anxiety often abuse alcohol, leading them to seek alcohol and anxiety treatment centers.

  •         Depressive disorders

Anyone experiencing depressive disorders may also suffer from a functional disability. Sudden changes in the level of happiness and sadness are manifested. The depressive disorder may happen along with the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

  •         Addictive disorders

Excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and caffeine can lead to addictive disorders.


How to treat addiction and mental health

Sometimes a person experiences both mental disorders and addiction. If this scenario happens to your loved ones, which one will you treat first? As much as we know, both must be given immediate action to avoid debilitating the condition. The first thing to do is to look for a mental health treatment facility offering a comprehensive treatment plan.

Here are some treatment options included in a program:

– Medically managed detox

Abusing a substance for an extended time makes your body affected by the substance. It could be difficult to regain the normal function of your body. Many treatment facilities start with detoxification that is medically supervised. The process must be administered by a licensed and reputable professional. The detoxification process would last for a week, but the duration varies depending on the condition. At-home detox is not encouraged because the process involves emotional, physical, and withdrawal. The detoxification process includes:

Medical and clinical assessment – it is the first step in the detoxification process to evaluate the physical and mental health of the client. They also discuss the family history and history of addiction.

Individualized attention – The client can expect full support during the detoxification process and prepare the client for the next stage of treatment.

24/7 supervision – the staff of the treatment facility will monitor the client round the clock to ensure safety and comfort.

For mental health problems, one-on-one counseling is a big help. The process may be intensive at first, but may gradually reduce if symptoms improve. Therapies may include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy – it helps the individual learn how to change his way of thinking. It is effective, especially if the mental health problem is associated with substance use.

Motivational interview – personal interview would maximize and encourage more the individual to change or make some adjustments to behavior.

It is not enough to focus on the individual experiencing the problem. As much as possible, the family must be involved in the therapy. It will improve the relationship and bonding of the family throughout the recovery of the person.

   – Inpatient treatment

Inpatient treatment is also known as residential treatment. It is conducted in a facility providing a holistic and comprehensive program. The program includes:

  •         Psychiatric care
  •         Group or individual sessions
  •         Program immersion involving 12 steps
  •         Study sessions

There are other approaches included in the program, but it would never be effective without the support and involvement of the family. Continuing care is also necessary for the transitional living of the person.

There is also recovery housing that offers short-term stays while the individual is living a new life without using the substance. Inside the recovery housing, the staff gives advice on how to find work and handle finances. The good thing is, after the person leaves the facility, the staff still provides support and follow-up about the recovery.

   – Psychiatric counseling and therapy

Psychiatric counseling and therapy are holistic approaches often used in addiction rehab centers that are significant to addiction recovery. Various treatment modalities are employed towards a solid and successful recovery process. One-on-one counseling is a great help for the individual as it opens up an opportunity to open up about personal and sensitive information.


   – Holistic services

Finding the right treatment facility to help an individual recover from mental disorders and addiction is a must. Not all treatment approaches can be successful. A holistic approach is recommended by many professionals to help recover from addiction. It integrates conventional methods of counseling therapy to achieve effective results. Holistic options include:

  •         Meditation
  •         Yoga
  •         Mind, spirit, and body therapy
  •         Music therapy
  •         Recreation therapy
  •         Volunteer work

The best thing about a holistic approach is it provides a wide range of treatment options to heal the whole being of the person. They rule out the root causes of addiction and encourage a better change of life. Unlike bringing the person to a rehabilitation center, with a holistic approach, the individual can take advantage:

  •         Discover more clarity in mental health
  •         Learn how to divert negative emotions using positive outlets
  •         Can manage cravings the proper and healthy way
  •         The treatment is aligned with the lifestyle of the person
  •         You can expect guidance and support throughout the recovery process

   – Intensive outpatient treatment

This method of treatment is catered to 18 years and above. The client may continue attending school or work, but attend the treatment schedule per week. The intensive outpatient program is given to individuals who:

  •         The residence is within the vicinity of the treatment facility
  •         Does not need medical supervision during detoxification
  •         If the person has completed partial hospitalization or inpatient treatment program

The treatment program will help the individual understand addiction. The program encourages the person to make lifestyle changes towards complete recovery. During the session, coping skills and ways to improve life are discussed. It will also let the individual understand the consequences of developing mental health problems.

   – Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

The recovery process does not end after the treatment. It is essential to have a long-term follow-up with the individual and the family to ensure relapse would not happen. After undergoing rehab for hard drugs like cocaine, there is a likelihood of using again. Keep in mind if the person will be exposed again to things, and the environment has triggers, there is more possibility of relapse.



Successful treatment for addiction and mental health disorders requires a lot of commitment from the person itself, the staff in the treatment facility, and the family. The efforts of the mental health professional or care provider are useless if the individual would not cooperate. Coping with addiction and mental illness is difficult. Families should stay connected and provide support throughout the treatment and recovery process.