Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Wisconsin

If you live in Wisconsin with a mental illness, you might get help and eventually manage the symptoms of this condition. However, if you decide to self-medicate, there is a high risk that you could find yourself struggling with a co-occurring disorder, such as a substance use disorder.

In such a situation, you could be said to be struggling with a dual diagnosis comprised of addiction to drugs and alcohol as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder. To be able to recover from all of these conditions, you would need to check into an integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation facility.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

A dual diagnosis happens when you are struggling with a problem involving drugs and alcohol as well as a co-occurring mental health or emotional disorder. You would require full treatment for these disorders to be able to achieve full recovery.

Dual diagnosis in Wisconsin is more common than most people imaging. The American Medical Association, for instance, reports that about 53 percent of all drug abusers as well as 37 percent of people who abuse alcohol also have another severe mental illness over and above their substance use disorder. In the same report, it was also shown that at least 29 parent of people living with mental illnesses in the state also struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.

There are many co-occurring disorders that can happen at the same time with substance abuse and addiction. They include but are not limited to depressive disorders like bipolar disorder and depression, anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorders and panic disorders, phobia, and other psychiatric conditions like personality disorders and schizophrenia.

But which would develop first between the substance abuse and the mental health problem? Well, it would largely depend. In most of the cases reported in Wisconsin as well as in the rest of the United States, the psychiatric problem tends to develop first.

If you are struggling with such a problem, you would suffer from a wide variety of psychological and mental health symptoms and effects. To try and become more cheerful or calmer, you might start using drugs and drinking alcohol. this is commonly referred to as self-medication.

If you engage in self-medication on a frequent basis, you might eventually become psychologically and physically dependent on the drugs that you abuse. When this happens, you would be struggling with more than the initial psychiatric problem. This is because your ongoing substance abuse could lead to the development of addiction - with its own set of mental health symptoms and problems.

On the other hand, if you start abusing intoxicating and mind altering substances at an early age - such as during your teenage years - before your brain is fully formed and developed, there is a high risk that this problem could continue into your adulthood. Eventually, it could also cause you to develop psychiatric disorders and emotional difficulties.

There are also cases where the drug or alcohol dependence and addiction might be the primary condition that you start struggling with. If you are severely addicted, there is a high probability that you might eventually start developing the symptoms and effects of a mental health disorders. These effects might include but are not limited to suicidal ideation and attempts, hallucinations, fits of rage, and depression - among many others.

According to NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness - the residents of Wisconsin who struggle with mental illnesses and also abuse drugs and drink alcohol only put their health at further risk. They also worsen their recovery outcomes in the long term.

If you are one of these people, there is a high likelihood that you will become violent, act impulsively, and even make suicidal attempts. All these are some of the symptoms of a mental health disorder.

In this situation, you would require professional treatment and rehabilitation services that are far more complicated that those services that you would need if you were only addicted to drugs and alcohol or struggling with a mental health disorder.

While struggling with a dual diagnosis, both the addiction as well as the co-occurring mental illness will create unique symptoms. These symptoms might start interfering with your ability to meet your obligations and responsibilities at school, work, and home. You may also have difficulties handling any challenges that you encounter in your life as well as experience issues in your interactions with other people.

In the same way, these co-occurring disorders might eventually start affecting and aggravating each other. If you leave the mental illness untreated, there is a high risk that your substance abuse issue with worsen over time. As you increase your drug and alcohol abuse, the mental health disorder will also start getting out of hand.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in Wisconsin

There are many mental health disorders reported by the residents of Wisconsin. They include but are not limited to anxiety and depression. The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - reports that 6.7 percent of all adults in the state struggle with depression while another 16.4 percent of them have received a diagnosis for a depressive disorder at one point or the other in their lives.

The same organization also reported that anxiety is another common mental health issue in this state. According to the report, anxiety disorders affect over 10 percent of the entire population of Wisconsin - and these people struggle with these mental health disorders at one point or the other in their lives.

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It is possible to develop a dual diagnosis for addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder irrespective of the stage you are at in your life. Although everyone with a mental illness can end up struggling with dual diagnosis, however, there are certain groups of people who have a higher risk of dealing with these issues.

Research studies report that approximately 2.6 parent of the entire adult population of Wisconsin struggle with severe psychological distress. An additional 12 percent of the women in the state deal with postpartum depression. In the same way, more than 67 percent of all the residents of the state aged 65 years and older struggle with mental illnesses.

The American Medical Association also reported in its annual journal that roughly 50 percent of all the residents of Wisconsin who have a severe mental illness also struggle with substance abuse and addiction.

In the same report, it was also shown that about 37 percent of the people who abuse alcohol as well as 53 percent of those who abuse drugs struggle with at least one severe mental health disorder. Of all the people who were diagnosed with a mental illness, 29 percent also abused alcohol and drugs.

But which are the most common mental health disorders reported by people living with a dual diagnosis in Wisconsin? According to the CDC, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders affect 8.5 percent of all people between the ages of 8 and 15 years while major depression affects 2.7 percent of this population.

Among adults, anxiety disorders are prevalent at rates of 19 percent while anxiety disorders affect 7 to 9 percent of all the adults in the state. Other common mental health disorders that occur in the population of Wisconsin include ADHD, mood disorders, major depression, conduct disorder, dysthymia, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and eating disorders.

In most of the major treatment programs in Wisconsin, the severity of mental illness is often linked with the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substances. The highest rates of dual diagnosis, however, seem to occur among homeless veterans, males, and young adults - especially those who live in the rural parts of the state.

The rate of suicide in the state also appears to have started rising for some years now. The rate of suicide among young people, for instance, is higher than the same rates reported at the national level. Even so, it seems that Caucasian male clients between the ages of 50 and 54 years were struggling with the highest risk for suicidal ideation and attempts. This was according to reports released by the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - in 2015.

Types of Treatment

If you have received a dual diagnosis for addiction as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder, it is recommended that you seek integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation services.

Examples of these services include but are not limited evaluation and assessment, medically supervised detoxification, addiction education, mental health education, therapy, counseling, aftercare planning, medication management, and relapse prevention.

The important thing is to ensure that all of the problems that you have been struggling with need to be treated at the same time. Unless this happens, there is a risk that your mental illness might affect the recovery outcomes from your addiction treatment. On the other hand, your addiction could negatively affect the outcomes that you receive from mental health care and rehabilitation services.

Through an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program in Wisconsin, you can receive the help that you need to overcome all of the disorders that you were diagnosed with to ensure that you achieve a state of full recovery, health, and wellness.

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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