Is a mental health issue contributing to your substance abuse struggles?
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Is a mental health issue contributing to your substance abuse struggles?

| Feb 12, 2020 | Firm News |

Your recent arrest for a drug crime in Texas served as quite a wake-up call. While mounting your defense, have you considered whether a mental health illness may have contributed to your ongoing struggles with substance abuse? 

HelpGuide shines a light on the matter. See if you would be better off with mental help rather than criminal punishment. 

The link between mental health and substance abuse  

If you have undiagnosed depression, anxiety or a similar mental health illness, you may use illegal substances as a coping mechanism. While you may temporarily succeed in changing your perception and emotional state, using substances can lead to dangerous side effects that only leave you with more psychological burdens. 

Additionally, your family history could put you at risk for a number of mental health issues. By abusing drugs, you could exacerbate your overall risk. For example, abusing painkillers may lead to depression. If you are already at risk of experiencing depression, using painkillers may increase that overall risk, turning it into a reality. 

The signs of co-occurring disorders 

Mental health and substance abuse struggles could crop up at the same time, making one unidentifiable from the other. Maybe you use substances to focus, numb painful memories or control your emotions. You may also experience anxiety or depression no matter if you are sober or using substances. Finally, you may have past trauma left unresolved, a struggle that could lead to using illicit substances. 

The treatment you need and deserve 

Rather than time behind bars, getting help for your mental health issues could be the key to keeping you from another substance abuse charge. For instance, medication, counseling, detoxification and withdrawal symptom management are all valid treatment options for mental health and substance abuse struggles. 

Understand why you ended up with a drug crime charge. Getting to the root of the matter helps keep you out of legal trouble.