According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of American’s are affected by mental health conditions every day. We should all do our best to understand and remove the stigma that is unfairly attached to mental illness and, every May, NAMI seeks to shine a spotlight on this issue with the hope that those who struggle with a mental illness feel encouraged to obtain the help they need. At Turning Point, we recognize that addiction, such as alcoholism and drug abuse, is a mental health issue. Our services go beyond helping individuals get clean and more into the underlying problems that result in substance abuse. Together, we can all create a social environment where it is acceptable to ask for help without shame or fear.
How Substance Abuse is Linked to Mental Illness
When people think of mental health disorders such as depression, they generally do not link it to substance abuse. However, those who struggle with mental health disorders are often most susceptible to addiction. To cope with the stress, anxiety, and pain of their mental health condition, many choose to take recreational drugs or abuse alcohol and, unfortunately, this only exacerbates and worsens the symptoms of their mental health disorder.
Given that addiction is frequently linked to mental illness, many treatment programs involve counseling and therapy. At Turning Point, for example, our long-term residential program provides both one-on-one and group counseling as well as a psychiatric evaluation. We understand the importance of mental health when it comes to combatting addiction and building a solid foundation for lifelong sobriety.
When is Something Considered an Addiction?
Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, so how can we know when our use of substances is crossing the line into addiction?
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- You are drinking or using drugs in the constant pursuit of feeling good
- Despite any negative consequences, you continue to use alcohol or drugs
- You tried to stop and cannot seem to do it
- You spend an excessive amount of time trying to obtain drugs and alcohol
- Whenever you stop using drugs or drinking, you feel sick
- The use of drugs or alcohol are negatively interfering with various areas of your life, including work or school
If you are reading this list and feel that one or more of these bullet points apply to you, do not hesitate to get the help you need to reclaim your life. If you recognize these signs in someone you care about, encourage them to seek help. In many cases, those who struggle with addiction are afraid to acknowledge their problem or ask for help due to the heavy stigma that is attached to addiction and mental health disorders. Let them know that there is nothing shameful about needing help.
I Know Someone with an Addiction – What Can I Do?
If you have someone in your life who is struggling with addiction and you want to help, but are unsure how to go about this, we have some tips for you to follow.
Keep these key points in mind:
- Help them open up about their problem. They might be afraid to discuss their addiction, so try to initiate and show a genuine interest in what they are enduring.
- Be supportive and persistent, but be tender.
- Do not belittle or degrade them because of their addiction. They still deserve respect.
- If they are able to open up to you, be a good listener. No one is expecting you to rid them of their addiction. All you need to do is show that you care.
- Tell them to get professional help. This can be a little daunting, but the fact is that it’s near impossible to get sober on your own without any help. You can even help them find the program that is right for them.
Reclaim Your Life, Health, and Happiness with Turning Point
At Turning Point, our drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility provide a variety of addiction treatment programs to help you or your loved ones achieve sobriety. Our programs are well-rounded and can be tailored your specific needs so you can begin your path toward a better life.
Call us today at (973) 380-0905 to learn more about our services.