Mental health issues and substance abuse are closely linked, and in some cases it may be difficult to tell which condition was caused by the other. As substance abuse increases one of the effects can be deteriorating mental health. On the other hand individuals who suffer from mental illness often turn to substance abuse to minimize problematic symptoms and blot out the effects of the mental illness. If both mental illness and substance abuse are present then this requires a dual diagnosis and can be much more difficult to treat then either condition alone. The substance abuse must be stopped so that the medical professional can determine exactly what mental illness symptoms are present, and which symptoms are actually caused by substance abuse. Until this step is complete then the mental illness can not be accurately diagnosed.
The link between mental disorders and substance abuse have been scientifically and medically proven. Anyone who has both issues will require specialized treatment that can resolve both conditions with the same program. Some mental illness may require proper medication. When the medication is taken as directed and the mental illness subsides then the individual no longer needs to drink or take illegal street drugs. Counseling in a variety of types can help during the substance abuse rehab process. Spiritual, group, and individual sessions will help individuals deal with any causes of substance abuse that are not mental illness related. Proper diagnosis and treatment will eliminate any symptoms from a mental disorder that cause substance abuse to start. Treating both conditions at the same time is essential for a permanent recovery from substance abuse and ideal mental health.