Some things that many people struggling with addiction (or their families) could always use more of are both hope and information.  The combination of not believing that positive change can take place and also not having a solid understanding of how best to combat addiction can be hugely adverse to a person’s recovery from substance use disorders.  The most effective strategy is to arm yourself with knowledge regarding addiction and related options while keeping as optimistic as you can about the journey.

Early Action Can Help to Combat Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

Though not true across the board, it has been noted that, often, those struggling with substance use disorders are also afflicted by mental illness.  This is a crucial piece to consider when working to combat addiction as it will absolutely affect the type of treatment that will be most helpful for the individual.

In such cases, the individual may begin abusing drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress brought on by his or her life, potentially made more difficult by their dealing with issues of  mental health.  Of course, if that person then develops an addiction, or even if it doesn’t make it to quite that point, he or she is likely to have more problems than ever until it reaches a time where professional treatment needs to be introduced.  “According to

[the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration], in 2014, 7.9 million adults struggled with both substance use and mental illness.”  Consider that alcohol, for example, acts as a depressant, and can enhance symptoms of depression or similar conditions, making them significantly more dangerous to the patient.

The loved ones of these individuals (and the individuals themselves, if possible) should be aware of treatment options for mental illness so that they can reach out for help before things can be worsened.  If things have moved past this point, then there are dual-diagnosis treatment options that can combat addiction and issues of mental health together.  Though it can be difficult to recognize and pin down what symptoms may mean, particularly within the person themselves, it’s never too late to seek out professional care.  Keeping a hopeful mind is another big piece of this, as it is so much more challenging to push yourself into seeking out help if you don’t really think that things can change and improve.

Even if there have been difficulties in the past, whether in or out of treatment, there is always another opportunity.  It begins with doing thorough exploration into what kind of facility or program will best suit the person: “quality care is compassionate, evidence-based and of significant duration with aftercare.”  Do some research as to what you personally need to combat addiction and see what types of things have worked out well for those in your (or your loved one’s) situation in the past.  There may be some tweaks needed, but you’ll at least have a place to begin your search.

Seek out people who will provide boundaries for you or for the patient, but who don’t degrade them or bring them down.  This kind of negativity rarely works in the long term and is particularly debilitating for those coping with problems of mental health.  Rather, provide encouragement and support while still helping to maintain a firm direction for that person so they know that they are being respected without easily being able to fall back on old habits and substance use disorders.  In addition, “the family needs to look at the dynamics that created fertile grounds for addiction to develop and learn how to set strong, healthy boundaries with the addict and each other” to best aid everyone involved.

If you or someone you know is working to combat addiction which is complicated by mental illness, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including substance use disorders.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.