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What Mental Health Issues are Most Common in People with Addiction?

It is often the case that someone with a substance use disorder also has another mental health issue or a dual diagnosis. Studies show that about half of people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health issue and that about half of the people with a serious mental health issue will develop a substance use disorder. [https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/part-1-connection-between-substance-use-disorders-mental-illness] Sometimes mental health issues lead to substance use, often as a means of self-medication, and...

How to Stop Repeating Mistakes in Addiction Recovery

For some people, recovering from a substance use disorder is pretty straightforward. They ask for help, they get sober, and they stay sober, perhaps with a few ups and downs. However, many people take a more circuitous path to sobriety. They may go through treatment several times and relapse several times. They may do great for six months or so, then slide right back to where they started. It can be incredibly frustrating to be...

What Do You Do After a Relapse?

Relapse is common for people recovering from substance use disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of people will relapse within a year of getting treatment for addiction. Relapse is difficult to deal with. You may feel shame, guilt, or disappointment. You may feel embarrassed for having let down loved ones. Some people take the position that relapse is part of recovery because it is so common and...

How to Write a Great Intervention Letter

An intervention is typically a last resort to try to convince a family member to accept treatment for a substance use disorder. By the time a family stages an intervention, they have probably tried everything else. Most people are familiar with the basic idea of an intervention, perhaps from watching the long-running show Intervention on A&E. Essentially, the family, and maybe some close friends confront the person with the addiction about the problems caused by...

Why Self-care Matters in Addiction Recovery

When you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, self-care is usually the last thing on your mind. Drugs and alcohol are all you really care about. Everything else--health, relationships, career, money--is sacrificed for substance use. In recovery, there is a lot to fix and you have to start with yourself. Not only do you have to repair your health and relationships, but you have to find a healthier, more sustainable way of living, one that...

How to Help a Loved One Recover from Addiction

It’s terribly frustrating watching a loved one struggle with addiction. Not only is addiction painful for both you and your loved one but the person you love seems to disappear, replaced by someone who only cares about drugs or alcohol. You want to help them but it’s hard to know what to do and most of the time it seems like they don’t even want your help. As frustrating as the situation is, things can...

9 Things to Look for in an Addiction Treatment Program

Choosing an addiction treatment program is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Entering treatment for addiction is a major investment in time and money and the outcome will affect your life and your family’s life for years to come. Clearly, it’s a decision you want to get right but it’s also complicated. There are somewhere around 14,000 addiction treatment centers in the US. They vary in size, quality, methods, levels of...

5 Reasons Journaling is Great for Addiction Recovery

Journaling is often used in treatment and many people adopt it as a regular part of their recovery plans. There’s good reason for this. Even just writing a few sentences every evening can have many benefits for mental health and wellbeing and even physical health. Here are some of the reasons you should consider making daily journaling part of your recovery plan. Journaling can help you process difficult emotions. Several studies have found that writing can be...

8 Tips for Making Therapy More Effective

Whether you’re recovering from addiction, an eating disorder, or a mental health issue, psychotherapy will be a central part of your treatment. In therapy, you discover hidden motivations, correct distorted thinking, and develop strategies for healthier behavior. It’s your therapist’s job to help you through the process, so you don’t have to know anything specific before entering therapy. However, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of...

5 Ways to Help a Loved One with Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the US. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 17.3 million American adults suffered from an episode of major depression in 2017. That’s more than seven percent of all American adults. Depression is even more common among adolescents between ages 12 and 17. About 13 percent of teens suffered an episode of depression in 2017, nearly twice the rate of adults. What’s...