Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Risks of Drugs and Alcohol - Will Kevin live?

Will this 26-year-old man go to rehab? Or will he say no? Watch this show and find out at the end. It also has anti-smoking commercials to try to convince smokers to quit.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Alcohol Addiction and Mental Health Issues

There has been a debate whether alcohol addiction is a mental health issue. Believe it or not, yes, it is considered as a mental problem. Alcohol changes the normal function of the brain.

Alcohol alters the needs hierarchy resulting in new desire connected to the use and procurement of alcohol.  Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the impulses. These are all signals that alcohol addiction is a mental illness.

People addicted to alcohol or drugs usually have mental problems. This state is called comorbidity, the presence of two or more health issues at the same time.

Often times, people battling alcohol addiction are diagnosed with mental illness. Those with mental problems are also the ones more often to have problems with drinking.

Many are wondering why there is comorbidity between alcohol addiction and mental health issues.  Despite their presence at the same time, it does not mean that one causes the other or vice versa.
Some studies have explanation for this.  Drug or alcohol addiction triggers mental disorders. For instance, marijuana users are more prone to have psychosis.

Others who have developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol have mental disorders. They become addicted to substances as a means of self-medication.  People who have anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer drug or alcohol abuse.

They also co-occur due to the following factors:
  • Mental illness and alcohol/ drug use are developmental disorders. Those who tried abusing drugs or alcohol at early years are the one who is more likely to have mental disorders. People who suffer anxiety at early years are the ones more possible to abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • Similar brain regions are affected.  People who have mental illness and those who are battling drug or alcohol addiction share the same region of the brain affected. The ones responsible for stress and reward are both abnormal in people with anxiety and those who abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • Genes. Genetic factors can strongly influence the development of alcohol addiction and mental disorder.
  • Overlapping environmental factors.  Factors such as early drug exposure, trauma, stress and certain abuse increase the risk to mental disorder and alcohol addiction.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Mental Disorder

As the relation between alcohol addiction and mental disorder has been known, anyone undergoing mental treatment should be evaluated for addiction, and those undergoing treatment for addiction must also be checked for mental disorders.

Luckily, there have been many therapies that have shown to be effective in diagnosing and treating both of the conditions. There are effective medications that can treat both addiction to alcohol and mental illness. Bupropion, a medication known for treating nicotine abuse and depression is also effective for lowering cravings for methamphetamine.