Addiction professionals understand that substance abuse does not occur in a vacuum – that is, there are usually a series of factors which contribute to one’s inability to avoid addiction. Indeed, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that nearly 9 million persons in the United States suffer from mental health issues in addition to substance abuse. For these persons, addiction recovery is akin to managing the mental health problems that plague them as well.
What Is a Underlying Condition?
An underlying condition is a mental illness which precedes or underlies the person’s addiction. Many of these illnesses tend to commonly coincide with substance abuse. These include:
- Panic Disorder
- Personality disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)
Co-Occurring mental health illnesses often contribute to an individual’s need to engage in substance abuse. In attempt to self-medicate, they usually unintentionally make their mental health issues worse. In turn, worsening mental health encourages the user to use even more of the substance(s). In addition, those who did not have mental illnesses before the addiction may find themselves suffering as a result.