3 Reasons Heroin Addiction and Mental Illness Go Hand-in-Hand

The link between the mind and body can be a surefire way for addiction to take hold.

People who find themselves addicted to heroin often suffer from mental illness and don’t even realize it. It can take entering a heroin addiction treatment center to uncover the truth and receive the dual diagnosis that will get them the help they truly need. When a dual diagnosis is given, the most important parts of the healing process involve eliminating the drug use and allowing the person to address the mental illness.

Heroin Calms the Chaos

Many people who choose heroin over other drugs, do so because it helps to calm the chaos of the mind. Mental illness can take many forms, but one thing is certain. Everyone deals with it differently. While some may be able to realize what is happening and seek medical treatment, others turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with a problem they don’t quite understand. They begin to become depressed and look for things that they know will allow them to alleviate the weight of depression.

It’s Easy to Self-Medicate

Heroin rehab treatment eliminates the need to self-medicate. Most people who become addicted treat their illness with whatever they can find that will numb the pain and control the confusion. Some people choose alcohol. Others choose heroin and other opiates because of the sense of euphoria they offer. If they are allowed to continue to self-medicate, the chances of becoming addicted to their drug of choice increase dramatically. While not everyone chooses to take matters into their own hands, those that do often lose the control to safely monitor their usage. It only takes a short period of time to become addicted. Friends and family members who discover a person who is self-medicating should immediately try to find ways to get them the heroin addiction treatment they need.

It Becomes a Vicious Cycle

Once a person starts to use heroin as a way to self-medicate themselves, it begins a vicious cycle. As time passes and that cycle becomes more ingrained in how they live and function, their general health can be jeopardized. The only way to truly break the vicious cycle of addiction and mental illness is to begin a heroin addiction treatment at a center that specializes in the treatment of dual diagnosis. To effectively destroy the cycle and allow the person to get back on the road to good health and sobriety, the addiction must be treated first so the full extent of the mental illness can be determined.

Maintaining Sobriety

After a thorough detox program and mental health evaluation have been completed, the patient can start the slow process of rebuilding their life. Close monitoring by mental health professionals is encouraged to ensure they don’t fall back into their previous cycle of abuse. Recovery after a dual diagnosis can take months, sometimes even years. Old habits must be eliminated, and new lifestyle habits and patterns created to take their place. Recovery is a process and must be taken slowly so the patient isn’t overwhelmed or driven back into drug use.

There are many programs available for individuals who suffer from both heroin addiction and mental illness. Heroin rehab programs are extremely effective in helping patients take their lives back. The journey is a long and tedious one, but by focusing on both the addiction as well as the mental illness and treating both accordingly the patient can regain their health and learn to live life to the fullest.