A ton of prescription medication is used for mental health. Unfortunately, people with mental health problems also have a higher rate of prescription drug abuse. People with mental health problems are three times more likely to abuse prescription drugs. There are a few reasons why this is the case. It can become an ugly spiral of addiction, so it is good to be aware of what is happening.

Self-Medication

People who are mentally ill do not want to be. They are continually trying to find ways to make them better. They want to find something that helps them feel normal, and drugs become a strong option. That is because drugs are usually so powerful that you are overwhelmed with one feeling. You know everyone else is experiencing that feeling when they take the same drug and helps give you a sense of solidarity with others. Self-medication can be done consciously or subconsciously.

Sometimes people who are mentally ill do not know yet. All they know is that there are situations where they do not feel normal. For them, they might think they are taking drugs for different reasons. They might think they are nervous about going out tonight or they might be having a hard time focusing on a task in front of them. They are; they just do not realize that they are dealing with symptoms of an illness.

Other times, the person knows. They might know they have depression, so they will smoke weed. They might know they have social anxiety and alcohol makes them more comfortable. They might use Xanax because they have powerful panic attacks. They might always take Adderall because they never feel like they have enough energy. If they are taking the recommended dosage by a doctor, there is no issue. However, many people who self medicate are taking over or different types of drugs because their doctor’s drugs still have not helped them feel normal.

Side Effects

Many prescription drugs have side effects that are mental. A lot of drugs or their withdrawal effects can create different types of mental illness symptoms.

  • Benzos can make people depressed
  • The withdrawal of Benzos usually makes people have anxiety
  • Stimulants can cause anxiety disorders
  • The withdrawal of stimulants usually makes people depressed
  • Most drugs besides Benzos can cause sleep disorders and sexual impotence

Social Effects

Drugs can put people in situations where they are more vulnerable. When people are vulnerable, bad things can happen. These bad things can be traumatic and increase mental disorders.

  • Serious abuse can put someone in a situation where they are more likely to be physically assaulted or raped. This can lead to depression, eating disorders and PTSD.
  • Serious abuse can lead to poor decisions. These poor decisions make lead to crimes. People can become more anxious.
  • Serious abuse can lead to poor health decisions that may have life consequences. You might have unprotected sex. Life changing diseases can cause depression and guilt.

It is important to treat mental health and drug abuse at the same time. They need a treatment designed to help both because either one of them can get in the way of recovery for another.