Myths about Addiction and Mental Illness

drug treatment in Raleigh NCYou probably know someone who has a mental illness, someone struggling with addiction, or someone who has been in drug treatment in Raleigh NC.  You may even know someone who has dealt with both. It’s not uncommon, but it’s often not talked about. There are many myths surrounding addiction and mental illness, and that can keep people from getting the help they need.

Over 42 million Americans have some sort of mental illness, according to reports from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). That’s one in five adults. These mental illnesses include depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In the U.S. 20 million adults have had a problem with substance abuse, and just over half (50.5 percent) of them also had a mental illness.

At Legacy Treatment Center of Raleigh, we know that sometimes people with addiction problems have a mental illness that needs treatment in order to have a successful recovery. That’s why we offer a range of options for drug treatment in Raleigh NC that meet the needs of each individual.

There are many myths surrounding mental illness and addiction. We’re here to debunk five of the biggest myths in order to dispel the stigma surrounding these controversial topics. We believe that the key to getting help for yourself or a loved one is not feeling ashamed to get help. If you have questions we haven’t answered, give us a call.

The Biggest Myths About Addiction and Mental Illness

1. Mental illness isn’t real.
People who have not experienced mental illness often think that a person can just “snap out” of depression. They may say that it’s “all in their head” which is true technically, but it is not something that is made up or imaginary. A mental illness is a disease just like any other that needs treatment in order to be managed. Because people often don’t see it as a valid medical concern, they often don’t get help. People of all ages can experience mental health disorders. Some studies have indicated that mental illness may take root in childhood but the symptoms develop a few years later.

2. Addiction is a choice.
Someone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can’t just stop any time they want. Their brain works differently due to drug use or drinking so it craves the substance in order to just function normally. Resisting the drugs or alcohol becomes more and more difficult as the brain becomes more dependent on it. It causes withdrawal symptoms when someone stops drinking or using drugs, so oftentimes a person will keep taking them to keep from getting physically ill, not because they are seeking the high they once got.

3. Drinking or doing drugs can help mental illness.
Someone with a mental illness may turn to drinking or drugs in order to ease stress or feel better, but it doesn’t help. Alcohol is a depressant that can make a person feel worse. In the case of drugs, stimulants can make a person more agitated and cause an extreme low after the high fades. When someone tries to treat their mental illness with drugs or alcohol, they can develop an addiction problem, which can worsen their mental illness. Studies from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have shown that people with mental illness are twice as likely to develop a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Treating mental illness with drugs or alcohol is never a good idea. If you feel you have become more dependent on drugs or drinking in order to deal with depression, mood swings or other issues that are difficult to deal with, give us a call at Legacy of Raleigh. We will answer your questions about addiction in an honest and upfront manner.

4.  Mental illness causes addiction, or addiction causes mental illness.
The two are often connected, but the relationship is too complicated to deem that one causes the other. There are other factors involved including genetics, environment and society that can contribute to addiction. The cause of mental illness is not known, but it can be made up of biological, psychological and environmental factors. There have been studies indicating that some people may be more prone to developing an addiction or a mental illness, but they can also occur because of other factors, such as trauma.

5. Someone with a mental illness and addiction can’t be helped.
drug treatment in Raleigh NCEveryone can be helped. Treatment of a mental illness and an addiction problem can go hand-in-hand if the right program is found. Unfortunately, many people do not get help. A 2012 survey on drug use from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that only 8 percent of the 8.4 million adults in the U.S. who had both a mental illness and addiction problem got treatment for both. Nearly 54 percent didn’t get any treatment at all.

There is no magic cure for treatment of addiction or mental illness, but help is available. There are many options for treatment, so it is important to explore them to see what works best. It is a lifelong process that will probably need to be modified as life changes occur. There is no reason to feel hopeless. Recovery is possible.

At Legacy of Raleigh, we offer plans that meet the needs of patients so they can get the help they need in order to manage their mental illness and recover from their substance abuse problem. Don’t be one of the millions who don’t get help.

Legacy Freedom - Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Raleigh NC

Do you have questions about the different types of addiction? Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center today to get the answers you need about our alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse and recovery. We offer outpatient programs designed to let you continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer. We have alternative therapies not found in other facilities that allow us to offer you an individualized program. Call our Raleigh rehab center to get started.

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