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Substance Abuse & Co-Occurring Issues

Substance Abuse & Co-Occurring Issues2024-02-08T22:03:21-05:00
Substance Abuse & Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance abuse does not operate in isolation.  Substance abuse and co-occurring issues are particularly common as similar areas of the brain are involved with both.  Additionally, the existence of substance abuse with co-occurring issues makes each worse than if they were experienced individually.  To learn which mental health conditions typically co occurring with substance use click below.


Common Mental Health Conditions Co Occuring with Substance Use

What causes this?

What is causing this?

It’s hard to know for certain if there is a causal relationship or if the condition that’s diagnosed first isn’t responsible for additional symptoms that arise.  Think of it like “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”.  Drug use affects the brain and can aggravate the symptoms of existing mental health conditions.  Someone with a mental health condition may try to self-medicate, treating symptoms of depression or anxiety by using drugs or alcohol.

What are the risks of drug use with mental illness?

It is important to know the risk factors for all ages, especially on developing minds.  If someone begins using drugs during childhood or adolescence before their brain has fully formed, that drug use can potentially affect the brain in a way that makes it more likely to develop a mental illness.  Additionally, someone who develops a mental illness at a young age may be more susceptible to developing a substance use disorder to manage their symptoms.  Genetics can predispose a person to develop a brain disorder like addiction.  Genetics can also put a person at higher risk for developing a co-occurring mental health issue.  External factors can trigger mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. This could include excessive stress, trauma, abuse, neglect, poverty, or other negative experiences the brain has difficulty processing. Click here to learn more about Substance Use & mental health.

Treatment Options

An integrated approach that addresses both conditions at the same time provides the best opportunity for successful outcomes.  These treatments will usually include behavioral therapies and medications, used together as part of a personalized plan.

While Mindly does not provide detox services, groups or treatment specifically tailored for active addiction, our clinicians are able to work with you on managing the mental health piece and helping your family by providing the treatment they need to support you .  Mindly clinicians works closely with other professionals in our area including licensed addiction specialists, support groups and residential services to provide you with the care you need to come out on top.


All clinicians at Mindly are fully licensed to practice counseling & psychotherapy in the state of North Carolina.

Barbara Garrett, LCSW
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John von der Lehr, LCSW
Nikki Atkins, LCSWA
Elijah Bader, LCSWA
Sanja Broer, LCSWA

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