The impact of dual diagnosis: addressing mental health issues while treating drug addiction

Many relatives and friends of individuals struggling with drug addiction observe that under the influence of psychoactive substances, one’s character, behavior, and perception of the world and others undergo changes. Abstinence from drugs can stabilize one’s mental state, but only if psychological recovery receives proper attention during rehabilitation. This article explains why addressing mental health issues is crucial in the treatment of drug addiction and how IsraRehab’s approach aids in this process.

Why is mental health assessed in treatment?

One of the main reasons rehabilitation centers analyze patients’ mental well-being is that drugs directly impact it. Psychoactive substances alter a person’s behavior patterns, social interactions, self-assessment, and their view of the surrounding world. In cases of intense or prolonged drug abuse, these changes can become pathological, negatively affecting relationships with others or self-esteem. Working with a psychotherapist can help individuals overcome these issues.

Mental health problems intensify when abstaining from drug use, and this condition can repeatedly push an individual towards using psychoactive substances as a means of “stress relief.” A specialist will assist in addressing these issues to make the temptation less overpowering.

The connection between addiction and mental health

Psychological problems often correlate with the consequences of using psychoactive substances. Indeed, such a connection exists. Frequently, drugs lead to persistent changes in mental health that may persist or worsen even after discontinuing substance use. Pathologies arise not only due to psychological alterations but also as a result of physical damage to the nervous system caused by potent compounds.

There is a reciprocal relationship between drug addiction and mental illnesses. Esteemed medical professionals confirm that pre-existing mental health issues often become direct or indirect causes of developing a severe addiction. This is logical, as a mentally healthy person is unlikely to seriously consider experimenting with drugs, given the overwhelming evidence of their harmful effects. Various factors can place an individual at risk, including:

  • Societal integration issues: when a person struggles to find their place in society, they may attempt to “fit in” with questionable groups by using drugs.
  • Consequences of psychological trauma in childhood: addicts often try to suppress negative emotions or memories through various means, including illicit substances.
  • Pathologies affecting cognitive abilities: if an individual cannot objectively assess the harm caused by drugs, they are less likely to refrain from using them.
  • Conditions affecting self-control: emotional instability or other illnesses can lead to difficulties in self-control, making it even harder to resist the temptation to use drugs.

In reality, there are many more psychological problems or severe mental illnesses that can contribute to or exacerbate drug addiction. Therefore, one of the initial steps toward recovery is engaging with a specialist who can diagnose these conditions and formulate an effective treatment plan.

Benefits of a combined approach

The inseparable link between drug addiction and mental health disorders has led modern rehabilitation centers to implement a combined treatment approach, addressing both aspects simultaneously. This approach yields specific benefits:

  • Patients learn to control their cravings for drugs and resist them more effectively.
  • The impact of psychological difficulties, often experienced during rehabilitation, is mitigated.
  • The causes that made an individual more vulnerable to psychoactive substances are addressed and, where possible, eliminated.
  • Patients are better prepared for integration into a healthy society, reducing the likelihood of feeling out of place.

Such an approach not only helps eliminate drugs from the body but also frees individuals from psychological addiction.

Effective treatment at IsraRehab

The IsraRehab center employs highly effective methodologies for treating drug addiction. Our specialists have successfully dealt with various addictions, including gambling, demonstrating proficiency in addressing the psychological challenges faced by those struggling with drug addiction. 

The attentiveness of our clinic’s medical professionals and meticulously crafted treatment plans contribute to permanently overcoming the physiological and psychological aspects of drug cravings.

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