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Understanding the link between substance abuse and mental health

When you have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety, it is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Dealing with substance abuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction is never easy, and it’s even more difficult when you’re also struggling with mental health problems.

In co-occurring disorders, both the mental health issue and the drug or alcohol addiction have their own unique symptoms that may get in the way of your ability to function at work or school, maintain a stable home life, handle life’s difficulties, and relate to others. To make the situation more complicated, co-occurring disorders also affect each other. When a mental health problem goes untreated, the substance abuse problem usually gets worse. And when alcohol or drug abuse increases, mental health problems usually increase too. But you’re not alone. Co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health issues are more common than many people realize.

When medication is necessary, our therapists make referrals to one of our staff psychiatrists. The Light Program employs several highly-qualified staff psychiatrists who offer a conservative approach to medication and the most up-to-date care in the field.

We feel that therapy is a vital part of our healing process and additionally, that medication is sometimes necessary. Our psychiatric therapy doctors work together closely with each therapist on our team.

Additional psychiatric therapy services provided by The Light Program include:

  • Psychiatric evaluations

  • Psychiatric assessments and testing

  • Medication management

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