How to Get Sober if You Have a Mental Health Disorder

25% of people with a mental health disorder also have substance use issues. Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and certain personality disorders and the most common co-occurring conditions with addiction.

Many people start using substances to cope with their mental health symptoms. While it may help at first, addiction can mimic these symptoms in the long term, leading to new or worsening conditions.

Luckily, figuring out how to get sober can help relieve some of these symptoms. Many substance use disorder treatment programs also feature mental health support.

Are you wondering: do I need rehab? If so, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn about the types of treatment programs in South Florida for people with co-occurring addictions and mental health disorders.

When Is It Time to Get Help for Addiction?

It’s time to get help for addiction when your substance use impacts your life negatively. Maybe your interpersonal relationships are on the rocks, or you’ve faced legal troubles. Or maybe your work or school performance is suffering.

Yet, these are not the only signs that you need treatment. Professionals use 11 criteria to diagnose substance use disorders (SUDs), including:

  1. The development of tolerance
  2. Withdrawal symptoms
  3. Continued substance use despite understanding the dangers (i.e., addiction, withdrawal symptoms, overdose, etc.)
  4. Substance use in obviously unsafe situations
  5. Continued substance use despite negative life consequences, such as the ones listed above
  6. Increased interpersonal arguments or altercations and repeated requests to seek help
  7. Self-isolation and avoiding loved ones or activities to use substances
  8. Using substances for excessive periods
  9. Wanting to cut back or stop using substances but failing to
  10. Experiencing cravings
  11. Impulsively seeking out or using substances

You do not have to meet all 11 criteria to receive a substance use disorder diagnosis. Meeting just two of these criteria is enough for a mild disorder diagnosis. Meeting six or more means you may have a severe SUD.

Can Getting Sober Help With Your Mental Health?

Yes, getting sober can help if you’re struggling with mental health issues. Often, people with mental health issues use substances to cope. Removing the substance means you can learn new, healthy coping mechanisms.

Some people never experience mental health symptoms before using substances. But after developing an addiction, they begin to have anxiety or depressive symptoms.

This happens because drugs cause changes in neurotransmitter levels in the brain. These neurotransmitters help regulate emotions and even personality traits. When their concentrations go awry, mental health symptoms may ensue.

For example, MDMA (also known as ecstasy) leads to decreased levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Among other functions, serotonin helps regulate mood. So, it should be no surprise that MDMA abuse can cause symptoms similar to depression and anxiety.

Alcohol is another substance that can lead to mental illness-like symptoms. Regular and excessive drinking is correlated with the onset of depression. Anxiety, psychosis, and even anti-social personality disorder symptoms are also common in people who struggle with alcohol addiction.

Removing the substance is often enough to get rid of these symptoms. However, getting help as soon as possible is crucial. Waiting too long could make these changes to your brain difficult or even impossible to reverse.

How to Get Sober: Choosing the Right Treatment Program

The good news about addiction and mental health is that you do not have to be alone in your struggle. There are many treatment programs in South Florida available. Yet, there are so many, it can be hard to choose the right one.

Use the following tips to find the best addiction and mental health treatment program for your unique needs.

Your Rehab Should Support Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is the term for diagnosing co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Programs that incorporate dual diagnosis services offer treatment for both conditions.

Why is this so important? Getting help for either mental health or addiction alone increases the risk of relapse.

Mental health treatment only may not address symptoms caused by substance abuse. Going to addiction rehab alone means you may return to using once you leave the program and face unpleasant symptoms of your condition.

Your Rehab Should Offer Detox Services

Many people wonder if they can get sober on their own. However, professionals typically do not recommend it for one big reason: detox. Detoxing from substances comes with withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal.

A good rehab facility will offer medically-supervised detox services for this reason. They can make you more comfortable throughout withdrawal.

If you suffer from addiction to opioids, alcohol, or meth, you can also get medication assisted detox services. Your rehab will administer drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to get clean.

Your Rehab Should Offer Multiple Program Types

Not everyone’s journey is the same when recovering from addiction and mental health issues. The rehab center you choose should recognize that and never offer a one-size-fits-all approach.

For example, you may not have the time or money to spend in a residential treatment facility. You may have family or work obligations that require a bit more flexibility.

Make sure to look for rehabs offering inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Inpatient programs require you to live at the facility full-time. Outpatient programs provide flexibility while you get the help you need.

At CWC Recovery in South Florida, we offer inpatient and outpatient programs for mental health and addiction. We have the expertise to help with getting and staying sober for life.

Do You Need Addiction Help in Palm Beach?

We hope this guide on how to get sober has helped you understand the link between mental health and addiction. If you are experiencing negative life consequences or mental health issues due to substance use, it’s time to search for ‘treatment programs near me.’

Do you need addiction and mental health treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida? CWC Recovery is here to help. Learn more about our admissions process and verify your insurance to get started.

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