Substance Abuse and Mental Health in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has seen its fair share of residents struggling with substance abuse and addiction as well as mental health disorders. When these conditions happen at the same time, they are known as co-occurring disorders.

This is because of the combination of drug and alcohol addiction with mental illness. The state is also known as a dual diagnosis or having dual disorders. For instance, if you live in New Hampshire with a cocaine addiction, you might also have severe depression. Alternatively, you might be struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism alongside an anti-social anxiety disorder.

The unfortunate thing is that most of the people who struggle with a dual diagnosis in New Hampshire often start taking illicit narcotics or prescription drugs. this is a dangerous combination - especially when you mix psychiatric medications with street drugs. this is because it could increase your risk of suffering an overdose.

Thankfully, there are dual diagnosis treatment facilities in the state that can help you overcome your substance abuse and addiction as well as manage your co-occurring disorders. It is important that when you are struggling with addiction as well as mental illness that you receive proper treatment to address these issues.

These facilities often provide comprehensive treatment and recovery services, including but not limited to withdrawal management (or medically supervised detoxification), evaluation, outpatient counseling, recovery support, aftercare planning, and residential therapy and other services.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

With an average population of more than 1.3 million people, it is not surprising that New Hampshire has residents struggling with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. According to SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 4 percent of the entire population of the state live with severe mental health disorders, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

As mentioned above, a co-occurring disorder is when you are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse while also living with a mental health condition. In many cases, the mental disorder might be the underlying cause of your addiction.

Co-occurring disorders in New Hampshire - as in the rest of the United States - are quite common. This is to such an extent that it is estimated that at least 50 percent of those with a mental illness end up struggling with a substance use disorder, or an addiction, at one point or the other in their lives.

That said, dual diagnosis treatment programs are relatively new in the context of addiction management. Before, mental illnesses were treated differently and exclusively in specific psychiatric environments. Drug rehab centers, on the other hand, were focused on the management of substance abuse and addiction.

Over time, however, research studies showed that this segmented approach to recovery would see clients receiving treatment for addiction in a rehab facility while excluding the psychiatric care that they needed. When this happened, the treatment neglected the underlying cause - in most cases - of the substance abuse and addiction. When these underlying causes were not properly addressed, the client would often relapse back to drug and alcohol use after completing their time in treatment.

But why are co-occurring disorders so common in New Hampshire? If you live in this state with a mental health disorder, you might be struggling with the debilitating symptoms of this condition. As a result, you may turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain caused by the condition - which could be alienation, mania, anxiety, or depression.

This form of self-medication might be effective at dealing with some of the symptoms of your mental illness. This is because the drugs could cause you to forget your reality, which could be too overwhelming and painful for you to handle.

However, when you stop taking the drugs, the overwhelming reality and the debilitating symptoms would still be there. As a result, you may end up suffering much more than you used to.

Additionally, the ongoing substance abuse could lead to other additional signs and symptoms, such as the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction. When this happens, you would have more symptoms that you originally did.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in New Hampshire

There are some mental illnesses that seem to be more common than others in terms of their association with drug and alcohol abuse in New Hampshire. SAMHSA also reported that there are many people in this state struggling with mental illness. Unfortunately, only about 49.9 percent of the adults living with mental disorders in New Hampshire received the treatment that they needed from private and public system providers. The remaining 50.1 percent did not receive any kind of treatment.

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This is in spite of the fact that Mental Health America has reported that New Hampshire is in the 20th position among the total number of states in the country in terms of providing ongoing access to these needed mental health treatment and rehabilitation services.

But what are the common mental illnesses in the state? According to the US Census Bureau, it is estimated that New Hampshire has a population of about 1.33 million people as of 2016. In 2014, 133,000 of these people above the age of 18 years reported that they had abused drugs in the month before the survey. The same year, 49,000 people above the age of 18 years reported that they were struggling with a mental health disorder.

The National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reports that close to 10 percent of all the citizens of the state struggle with at least one substance related issue. This figure includes the statistical analysis of the abuse of illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol that was reported for New Hampshire

Although this number is alarming, it is also understandable. This is because scientific studies have shown that addiction is a disease that occurs in the brain. However, it is unless other mental illnesses in the sense that it can be treated and overcome permanently over the course of recovery.

Other reports for New Hampshire showed that 28,000 adults in New Hampshire above the age of 18 years abused illicit drugs in the year previous to the survey. Another 83,000 people in the same age group reported struggling with alcohol and drinking dependence.

The number of people who did not receive treatment for addiction and drug dependence was at 24,000 while 79,000 people were not able to seek help for their alcohol abuse and dependence.

It was also reported that 82,000 people struggled with depression that lasted longer than 2 weeks. Another 49,000 people were suffering from serious mental illnesses in the year before the survey while around 43,000 people considered committing suicide - or had suicidal ideation or thoughts.

For people above the age of 12 years, 720,000 reported that they had abused alcohol in the previous month. Another 122,000 had engaged in recreational marijuana use while 27,000 had used crack cocaine.

Among this population, 39,000 reported that they had abused heroin and were struggling with an opioid use disorder as a result. Another 43,000 had abused pharmaceutical pills, or prescription medications. These figures were reported by SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Types of Treatment

When you receive a dual diagnosis, it means that you are struggling with both drug and alcohol addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. In such a situation, you would need an integrated treatment program to manage all these co-occurring disorders.

Some of the integrated interventions that you might be able to benefit from include but are not limited to:

The treatment program that you enroll in should offer a wide variety of levels of care. These should include but are not limited to residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, regular outpatient programs, and inpatient treatment.

Like other states, New Hampshire has several programs that offer dual diagnosis treatment. this integrated form of treatment is designed to manage both addiction as well as the co-occurring medical and mental health disorders that you might be struggling with.

Often, you will receive screening services when you enroll in one of these programs. This would be designed to evaluate the extent and severity of your substance abuse and mental illness. After that, the team will create a specialized treatment plan for you that is highly individualized and personalized to meet your needs and requirements.

Once you have gone through screening and evaluation, you will receive medically supervised detoxification services to manage the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that arise when you stop abusing your favorite substances.

After that, the program will offer therapy and counseling services to ensure that you overcome your psychological dependence on these substances as well as deal with the signs and symptoms of your mental health disorders.

Even after you have achieved a state of recovery, the treatment program might also recommend that you continue seeking help for your dual diagnosis from other aftercare programs and service providers. This is because most of these co-occurring disorders will take longer than 6 months to overcome completely.

Learning what treatment is best for you or your loved one is easy. Speak to one of our trained counselors and let them guide you to the best treatment options available for your specific needs.


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