Substance Abuse and Mental Health in South Carolina

If you live in South Carolina with a mental health disorder, there is a high risk that you might become addicted to alcohol and drugs. When this happens, you could be said to be struggling with a dual diagnosis comprised of your addiction as well as the co-occurring mental illness.

In such a situation, you would require integrated dual diagnosis treatment to address all of these disorders and get started on the road to recovery. Luckily, there are many centers in the state of South Carolina offering these treatment and rehabilitation services and they can help you find health and wellness.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

What is a dual diagnosis? Essentially, it refers to a situation in which you are struggling with both a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. Your addiction might be linked to substances such as methamphetamine, alcohol, opioid drugs, and cocaine while the psychiatric disorder could be an anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder.

Dealing with an addiction to drugs and alcohol can be difficult. However, it will become even more complicated if you are also struggling with a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorder.

If you find yourself in this situation in South Carolina, both of these issues will come with their own unique symptoms. Due to these symptoms, you might have difficulties meeting your daily obligations and responsibilities, maintaining a stable lifestyle, handling the difficulties and stressful experiences that you encounter, and interacting with other people.

In the same way, these co-occurring disorders might also affect and even aggravate each other. To this end, if you leave the mental illness untreated, it is highly likely that your substance abuse and addiction problem will only worsen. On the other hand, if you continue abusing these substances in higher doses or more frequently than you used to do in the past, there is a high probability that your mental health disorder will also get out of hand.

That said, research studies show that there are some mental health disorders that tend to occur at the same time as addiction. These disorders include but are not limited to PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

But why do dual diagnosis situations occur? Essentially, if you are living with a mental health disorder in South Carolina, you might start abusing alcohol and drugs while trying to self-medicate the symptoms and effects of your psychiatric challenges.

In the short term, this might even seem to work. as a result, you will continue taking these substances in higher doses or more frequently than you used to do because of your growing tolerance to drugs and alcohol. eventually, tolerance will be replaced by dependence - at which point you could be said to be struggling with a substance use disorder or an addiction. When you reach this stage in your substance abuse, it might be difficult for you to stop.

On the other hand, if you have been abusing drugs and drinking alcohol excessively, you might end up experiencing some psychological symptoms of such ongoing substance abuse. This is because drugs and alcohol affect the brain and end up changing its chemical structure, composition, makeup, and functioning.

In the course of your substance abuse and addiction, you might even start suffering from a mental health disorder. In such a situation, your addiction could be said to be the underlying cause of your mental illness.

That said, mental health disorders are often caused by an interplay of the environment, genetic makeup, upbringing, and many other factors. If you have a high risk of developing such a disorder and you get involved with addictive substances, it is likely that you will become addicted.

This is not entirely surprising especially considering that research studies have reported that people who abuse marijuana tend to increase their risk of struggling with psychosis. Those who abuse opioid pain relief medications, on the other hand, tend to increase their risk of developing depression.

The important thing to keep in mind is that drug and alcohol abuse and addiction can only worsen the symptoms of your mental health disorder. It could also increase the symptoms that you experience from such a mental illness while also triggering new psychological symptoms.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in South Carolina

According to reports from SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - clinical depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses affecting the residents of South Carolina. This condition is also more prevalent in this state that it is elsewhere in the United States.

The problem is so common that over 9 percent of the adults living in this state - those who are 18 years and older - have received a diagnosis for clinical depression. Another additional 8 percent of adults have suffered from the symptoms of severe psychological distress at one point or the other in their lives.

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Due to the high occurrence of this mental health disorder, it is highly likely that the rates of addiction are most likely high in South Carolina than in the other parts of the United States.

Other reports show that the residents of South Carolina report struggling with mental illness anywhere from 3.4 to 3.7 days every period of 30 days. This rate of the occurrence of mental health disorders is much higher in the state than it is in other regions of the country.

Recent data, on the other hand, proves that addiction and mental illnesses are connected in various ways. In most situations, mental health disorders are the underlying cause of addiction. This is because if you are struggling with such a disorder that you are unaware of, you might try self-medicating using drugs and drinking alcohol instead of seeing a mental health professional. In the process, you might become addicted to these substances.

In South Carolina, it has also been reported that 3.7 percent of all the adults above the age of 18 years struggle with serious suicidal ideation. This amounts to more than 137,000 people.

In the same way, 4.1 percent of the adult population of the state - about 150,000 people - reported that they struggled with a serious mental illness in the year before the survey that was conducted between 2014 and 2015.

Another 43.6 percent of adults - more than 286,000 people above the age of 18 years - reported that they had dealt with any mental illness (commonly known as an AMI) between 2011 and 2015.

The most common of these psychiatric comorbidities that occur among people struggling with substance abuse and addiction in South Carolina include bipolar disorders, depression, and mood disorders. Others include anxiety, phobia, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia.

Types of Treatment

If you suspect that you might be struggling with a dual diagnosis in South Carolina, it is recommended that you seek integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation services from a qualified and accredited recovery center. In such a center, you will be able to get the help that you need to overcome and address all of the disorders - addiction and co-occurring mental illness - at the same time. This is the only way that you can succeed in your long term sobriety, recovery, and wellness.

There are many different types of treatment that are provided to manage situations involving a mix of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders. They include inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

In an inpatient facility, you will be required to live at the center so that you can work on achieving health and wellness from both your substance abuse as well as the mental health disorder that you have been struggling with. This will ensure that you are close to the treatment professionals who can provide you with round the clock medical care, management, and supervision services.

Once you have achieved physical and psychological stability from these co-occurring disorders, you might be able to move down the continuum of care to an outpatient center that offers integrated dual diagnosis treatment.

This means that you will no longer have to live at the treatment center. Instead, you can check into the facility a few times every week for a couple of hours each time. During this period, you will receive the help that you need to continue working on addressing your mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorder.

Outpatient treatment might work if you have already been through an inpatient recovery program. It is also only recommended if you have a supportive and welcoming environment at home that will not cause you to start abusing drugs and drinking alcohol again during the course of your treatment and rehabilitation.

Even after you have completed the recovery program, however, the integrated dual diagnosis program will still require that you continue using certain effective tools and tips to reduce your risk of relapse as well as ensure that you continue receiving the support that you need on your long term journey to full recovery. For instance, you might be asked to continue attending therapy and counseling sessions or participating in 12 step and non-12 step support group meetings. The important thing is to ensure that you are enrolled in the right dual diagnosis treatment center in South Carolina.

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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