Each year, approximately one in eight adults require treatment for mental health disorders.

While many understand the impact of mental health disorders and addictions, an increase in the number of people attempting to ascertain whether mental health and addiction do go hand in hand has been noted.

If you are hoping to find out more about mental health addiction and often question “do they go hand in hand?” you have come to the right place.

This blog discusses mental health and addiction and answers the question “mental health and addiction – do they go hand in hand?”.


Understanding Mental Health and Addiction

Defined as disorders that have different presentations, mental health problems affect one in six people every week.

Impacting our moods, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, anxiety, depression, stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder are among the most common mental health disorders in the United Kingdom.

Similarly, mental health problems arise from stress, marital problems, social influence and genetics; addictions are psychological disorders associated with drugs, alcohol, smoking and even gambling.

In the United Kingdom, more than half a million adults are dependent on alcohol. An additional 141,189 adults are believed to be addicted to drugs.


Mental Health and Addiction

Although mental health and addiction often occur separately, at least 50% of adults that require mental health treatment are simultaneously affected by addiction.  This is because those struggling with anxiety, depression, stress or post-traumatic stress disorder will consume alcohol or drugs to mitigate associated symptoms. This determines that mental health and addiction do go hand in hand.

Whilst substances can reduce symptoms associated with mental health disorders in the interim, drugs and alcohol make mental health disorders worse.  For example, drugs such as cocaine cause severe anxiety. Alcohol also amplifies symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders, leaving those struggling at risk of developing an addiction.

Just as mental health disorders are cited as a contributing factor for addictions, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression are also known to arise from addictions to substances, including drugs and alcohol.


Dual Diagnosis

When mental health and addiction go hand in hand, a dual diagnosis is made.  A term used to describe a co-existing mental health disorder and addiction, dual diagnosis was first identified in the 1980s.

Today, as noted above, more than 50% of all adults with a mental health disorder or addiction require this specific type of treatment.  However, the significance of co-occurring mental health disorders and addiction is often overlooked.


Recognising Dual Diagnosis

Though dual diagnosis treatment is required when mental health disorders and addictions go hand in hand, recognising dual diagnosis can be difficult.  This is because many people will keep their mental health disorder to themselves due to the stigmas associated.

Similarly, individuals who develop drug or alcohol addictions will often delay treatment as they worry about being judged.  Many also believe that they do not require addiction treatment or are under the impression that they can overcome their addiction alone.

However, when a dual diagnosis is left untreated, it gradually comes to control an individual’s every waking moment.  Making everyday life extremely difficult, the following signs and symptoms often arise from a dual diagnosis.

  •   Low moods
  •   Reduced energy
  •   Loss of interest in activities
  •   Changes in appearance
  •   Insomnia
  •   Irritability
  •   Concentration problems
  •   Physical aches and pains
  •   Headaches
  •   Nausea

In addition to the above, those struggling with dual diagnosis disorders will experience intense cravings for substances, and they will feel as though they are unable to cope without substances.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis disorders are typically distinguished by health professionals such as doctors when treatment for either mental health problems or addictions are sought.  As delaying treatment can cause mental health disorders and addictions to escalate simultaneously, treatment must be secured as soon as possible when a dual diagnosis is made.

The treatment provided for dual diagnosis disorders greatly varies and typically depends on where treatment is sought. For example, in the United Kingdom, private inpatient rehabs, private outpatient rehabs and NHS rehabs can be attended for dual diagnosis treatment.

When treatment is sought via the NHS, it usually consists of psychological therapy, talking therapies and medication.  Combined, these treatments provide an outlet for those suffering to share their worries and concerns and understand how both mental health and addictions can be overcome.

In contrast, private inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer a wide range of industry-leading treatments that effectively combat mental health and addictions.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Asana Lodge

Here at Asana Lodge, dual diagnosis treatment consists of a range of traditional and non-traditional options.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •   Medically induced detoxification programme
  •   Cognitive behavioural therapy
  •   Satori therapy
  •   Well-being therapy
  •   Family therapy
  •   Support groups
  •   Medication
  •   Aftercare support

Combined, these treatments help many individuals understand and overcome their addiction.  They additionally ensure that the overall impact of mental health disorders can be alleviated.

In addition, our dual diagnosis treatments options guarantee that coping strategies can be developed during an individual’s time in rehab.  Considering factors such as triggers, life at home, and profession, developing coping strategies supports many in maintaining their sobriety in the weeks, months and years that follow dual diagnosis treatment.

Unlike other rehabs across the country, at Asana Lodge, all treatments are implemented on a residential basis.  Though the thought of attending a residential rehab for treatment can be daunting, we create a safe and comfortable space for recovery and healing, which contributes to our client’s recovery success.


Contact Us Today

Mental health and addiction do go hand in hand. Both disorders have a detrimental impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide; however, treatment is available.

Whether you are personally struggling with impaired mental health and addiction or have reason to believe that a loved one is, please contact us today to find out how we can assist you.















John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 15 October 2021

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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