HOW STRONG MENTAL HEALTH CAN PREVENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Illicit and prescription drug abuse as well as alcohol consumption have increased around the world in recent years. Unfortunately, many of these substance abuse cases occur because an abuser may not realize they are suffering from a mental health issue.

If you are reading this, odds are you or someone you love may struggle with a mental health issue that has led to a substance abuse problem. You can use this post to help you understand why strong mental health can decrease or prevent substance abuse. In this article, you will learn about substance abuse, a few mental health issues that most often lead to drug abuse, and how treating them quickly can prevent substance abuse.

WHAT IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE?

Affecting more than 10 percent of Americans 12 years of age and older, drug and alcohol abuse has become an ongoing problem in the United States and around the world. Substance abuse often comes to mind when you think of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth, but substance abuse has evolved.

Now more than ever, substance abuse involves the illegal purchase and use of medicine used by doctors to help treat pain. These include prescription drugs like codeine and oxycodone. Substance abuse is the highest it has ever been, with a record number of 64,000 people dying from drug overdoses along in 2016.

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES THAT OFTEN LEAD TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE

There are several issues of different severities that can lead to substance abuse. One common mental health issue is depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety affect nearly 3.3 million American adults a year. More so, depression and anxiety has been appearing more frequently in youth. When someone suffering from anxiety or depression, they may use substances to help them feel comfortable in certain situations or may use a substance to numb their mental pain.

People suffering from split- or multiple-personality disorder may use drugs like Xanax or Valium to calm symptoms themselves, the same goes for someone who has panic attacks.

While some may use illicit or prescription drugs recreationally (which is dangerous, can lead to an addiction, and is not advisable), others use substances to self-medicate and hide their insecurities and mental health issues.

TREAT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES QUICKLY TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE

If you or someone you know has ever had the following thoughts, you should seek mental health care from a trusted physician or psychologist:

  • You feel you should use or have used illicit or prescription drugs to numb your pain.
  • You feel you should drink or do drink often because you have social anxiety and it makes you feel more comfortable.
  • You feel the only way to medicate is by using a substance that you don’t have a prescription for.
  • You feel you have the symptoms of a serious mental issue that, if left unchecked, could lead to substance abuse.

CONCLUSION

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Fight mental health issues now to prevent substance abuse later.