Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Oklahoma

Research studies have shown that most of the residents of Oklahoma who struggle with substance abuse and addiction also have other underlying mental illnesses. in many cases, these people might not even know that they are also struggling with this additional condition.

While seeking help for your addiction, it is important that you look for a program that can treat every aspect of your drug and alcohol abuse. In some cases, you might require a dual diagnosis integrated treatment program especially if you have received a dual diagnosis for a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring medical or mental health disorder.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

Oklahoma is much like any other state in the sense that many of its residents abuse drugs and drink alcohol regularly. Among these people, there are also others who also deal with the signs and symptoms of a co-occurring mental illness.

Mental health disorders can lead to the development of a substance abuse problem. On the other hand, drug and alcohol addiction can cause you to start struggling with other mental health issues.

If you have received such a diagnosis, it would be known as a dual diagnosis. This is because you would be struggling with addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. In such a situation, you would require highly integrated dual diagnosis treatment. in this way, you will be able to manage your substance abuse as well as overcome the mental illnesses that you have been diagnosed with.

Today, Oklahoma is home to more than 3.5 million people. Unfortunately, NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness - reports that over 147,000 of these residents struggle with severe mental illnesses.

The sad thing is that the public mental health system in the state does not always meet the needs of people like these. This is because it has been reported that the system only provides its services to around 22 percent of all the adults living with a mental illness in Oklahoma. As a result, close to 80 percent of these people do not receive the help that they need to overcome the severe mental health concerns that they live with on a day to day basis.

The BRFSS - the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System - also reports that 6117 people above the age of 18 years in this state (which is close to 12 percent of the entire population within this age group) currently struggle with depression.

The same report notes that it is estimated that 6793 adults - around 5.3 percent of the entire adult population of the state - struggle with severe psychological distress. Another 6786 adults - around 19.9 percent - were diagnosed with depression at one point or the other in their lives. It was also reported that 6775 adults - about 14.8 percent of the adult population in Oklahoma - were diagnosed with anxiety at one point or the other over their lifetimes.

Even so, mental health disorders are not just limited to anxiety and depression. Across the country, 18 percent of people living in nursing homes are between the ages of 65 and 74 years. Among people above the age of 85 years, more than 23 percent have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia.

It is, to this end, important to note that mental illness tends to affect people of all ages in Oklahoma. If left untreated, this condition can also co-occur with substance abuse and addiction. This is because it can increase the risk that the individual struggling with mental illness will turn to drugs and alcohol.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in Oklahoma

A dual diagnosis occurs when someone has received a diagnosis for a mental illness as well as a co-occurring substance use disorder. This problem is as common in Oklahoma as in the rest of the United States.

When you have been living with a severe mental illness that has remained untreated, you might end up turning to drugs and alcohol in a bid to cope with your problem. Even if you seek help from a treatment facility and you receive prescription medications as a result, you might even start abusing these drugs. this could increase your risk of developing a substance use disorder, or an addiction.

That said, Oklahoma has seen its fair share of people who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction problems. If you are also struggling with a co-occurring disorder over and above your addiction, it is recommended that you seek treatment for this issue before it gets out of hand.

In the state, for instance, it is reported that about 50 percent of all the people struggling with the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses will also end up dealing with substance abuse and addiction at one point or the other in their lives.

While dealing with the debilitating symptoms and effects of your psychological disorder, you might use drugs and drink alcohol in a bid to alleviate the pain that arises from your mental illness. This is because you would be trying to self-medicate the symptoms of the disorder.

Even though this might work in the short term, it will end up causing other more serious problems in the long term. This is because you will soon find yourself struggling with tolerance and dependence on the substances that you were abusing. Over time, this dependence could give rise to the development of addiction.

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Once you get to this point, you will have two major problems to deal with - your substance addiction as well as the co-occurring mental illness. These disorders will also give rise to the development of other signs and symptoms that are worsen than what you used to struggle with when you just had a mental illness.

But what are the common mental health disorders that are typically reported by people dealing with substance abuse and addiction? Research studies report that these disorders include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Even so, it seems that anxiety and mood disorders are more commonly associated with chemical dependence than other mental illnesses. in other studies, it was reported that even higher percentages of people dealing with severe mental illnesses also struggle with co-occurring substance related disorders.

As we mentioned earlier, you might have a higher likelihood of abusing alcohol and drugs if you are living with a mental illness. The NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - for 2012, for instance, reported that more than 8 million American adults struggle with both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. This is not surprising especially when you consider that people with a severe mental disorders have 4 times as high a likelihood as those without to start abusing alcohol. they also have 5 times as high a likelihood to turn to drugs.

Types of Treatment

But what is the outlook for recovery for people struggling with a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders? Essentially, if you receive such a diagnosis, or you have been experiencing symptoms that point to the fact that you might have a dual diagnosis, it is recommended that you seek integrated treatment options.

An integrated dual diagnosis treatment program is one that will coordinate interventions to manage your substance abuse as well as overcome the mental health disorders that you have been struggling with.

The programs are different in the sense that they will coordinate these interventions instead of treating each of your disorders separately or without considering the other disorder.

Through these programs, to this end, you will receive a combined treatment service that will take care of both the substance use and addiction as well as your mental illness. Often, such treatment will be provided by the same treatment team to ensure continuity in your long term recovery.

While enrolled in an integrated dual diagnosis treatment center, you will also get the help that you need to start developing the skills, support, knowledge, and hope that you need to manage all the problems and issues that you have been struggling with. Additionally, you will get the opportunity to overcome your disorders as well get started on creating more meaningful and achievable goals for the rest of your life.

In the same way, Oklahoma dual diagnosis treatment programs will help you think about the role played by drugs and alcohol in your life. You will get the opportunity to discuss all these issues in an environment that is non-judgmental and confidential.

Additionally, the programs will offer you the chance to learn more about the substances that you were abusing and how they interact with other medications and your mental illness. Further, you will be able to discuss your own abuse of these substances.

Another advantage that comes with dual diagnosis programs is that they can ensure that you are more involved with other additional services that could ensure that you get started on the recovery process much faster than you otherwise would - including but not limited to supportive housing and employment services.

The important thing to keep in mind is that a dual diagnosis treatment center can not only guide you on the road to recovery from your substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders, it can also ensure that you do not suffer a relapse back to these conditions and situations later on in your life.

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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