Addressing Addiction for Mental Health Awareness Month

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Improving one’s mental health plays a significant role in the recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Addiction is, in fact, a disorder of the mind that requires treatment. To address addiction during Mental Health Awareness Month, it may be beneficial to do so specifically for this reason. Every year, it takes place in May.


Information About the Mental Health Awareness Month


The month of May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States since 1949. These gatherings are intended to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to break down the stigma that is often associated with mental health issues, among other things.


As you can see, mental health disorders are prevalent throughout the world. A wide range of mental health issues affect friends, family, and neighbors all over the world, ranging from depression and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as eating disorders. Even so, mental illness is still associated with a sense of shame and stigmatization in many communities. When it comes to talking about mental health, there is a social stigma attached. Many of those who are afflicted are afraid to seek medical attention or to ask for help from others because they fear being judged. More than 450 million people in the world suffer from some form of mental illness. The vast majority of people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness do not seek treatment for their condition.


A similar mortality rate exists for people who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Approximately 40% of people with substance use disorders also suffer from mental health issues, according to the Surgeon General’s Report, but less than half of these individuals seek treatment for either of these conditions. There are far too many people who are not receiving the help they require as a result of the stigma associated with mental illness.


What is the purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month?


Mental Health America (MHA) organizes a month-long event known as Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness about mental health issues in the general public (MHAM). The ultimate goal is to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and to make it more acceptable. To raise awareness and educate the public about the prevalence of mental illness, a variety of strategies are available. 


MHAM devotes itself to a different topic each month of the year, which is chosen by MHA. These events are a good place to start if you are dealing with any type of mental health issue. This year, the Mental Health Association will emphasize the link between physical fitness and mental well-being once more. 


This was also the theme for the MHA’s annual conference in 2018. Among other things, MHA intends to expand on this theme by discussing the significance of achieving a sense of balance in one’s life. A healthy work-school-social balance is an important component of this strategy. 


In many cases, people are unable to achieve a healthy work-life balance, which can result in a variety of mental health problems.


How to Take Part in the Mental Health Awareness Month


The process of taking part in Mental Health Awareness Month is straightforward, and anyone can take part in it. It is entirely up to the individual whether or not they wish to participate in an existing event or start one from scratch. Anyone can put on an MHA event, regardless of their level of experience. A toolkit will be made available to them after they have completed a brief form on the official website.


Mental Health Awareness Month


Understanding the Connections Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse


Mental health and substance abuse disorders frequently co-occur, as evidenced by the above statistics. Many people who suffer from mental illness are also likely to suffer from substance abuse disorders, according to national studies.


Our ability to make good decisions and exercise self-control can be affected by both substance abuse and mental health disorders. Children, adolescents, and adults of all sexes, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds are all affected.


Substance abuse and mental health disorders are linked in numerous ways, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.


There are several reasons for this, including the fact that certain drugs can cause a person to exhibit symptoms of a mental health disorder (such as depression or anxiety).

Many people with an SMI self-medicate with drugs to deal with their mental health issues, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction.


Finally, mental and substance abuse disorders share some underlying causes, such as changes in the brain’s composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or traumatic experiences.


The term “co-occurring disorders” or “dual diagnosis” refers to when a person has both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. They can occur simultaneously or sequentially, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

What Makes Addressing Addiction During Mental Health Month Popular


Recovery from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues necessitates the use of a holistic approach. When combined with substance abuse treatment, integrated mental health treatment can be a powerful tool for those who are struggling with both issues. Achieving effective treatment for co-occurring disorders requires that they be addressed at the same time and in the same location.


In the vast majority of substance abuse treatment programs, either no mental health services are provided or they are not affiliated with any mental health services. Aside from that, the vast majority of healthcare professionals do not provide screening, diagnosis, or treatment for substance abuse disorders. In the words of the Surgeon General, this separation of treatment has resulted in “incorrect diagnoses, inappropriate treatment plans, poor adherence to treatment plans by patients, and high rates of emergency department and hospital admissions,” among other things. Finding a treatment center that specializes in both mental health and substance abuse issues is essential if you want to receive the best possible treatment for both. According to the Surgeon General’s own words:


If unrecognized, unaddressed substance use disorders among patients in the general health care system are recognized and addressed, patients’ health and quality of life will be significantly improved. Fatalities will be reduced, health disparities will be addressed, and societal costs will be reduced.”


To learn more about dual diagnosis treatment for substance abuse and other mental disorders contact the Opus Health team at 855-953-1345.

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