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  • Mar

    Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment

    Some people entering into substance abuse treatment facilities and rehabilitation programs are at high risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It's important that evaluations and individual screenings are done when a person enters into treatment and continues throughout their recovery process.

    When an individual enters into a treatment program very often there are other issues going on in their life besides dependency to drugs or alcohol. It's critical that a complete psychological and emotional assessment be done not only to determine the correct treatment for the individual but to know if there are any mental health issues that need to be addressed.

    Some patients entering into treatment for substance abuse also have a mental illness that may or may not have been previously diagnosed. A dual diagnosis is when a person has a problem with drugs or alcohol and also has mental health issues. Some mental health problems associated with a dual diagnosis includes depression, PTSD known as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, personality disorders, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Mental health problems are associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors so it's important that this be addressed throughout treatment.

    There are other reasons besides mental health problems that put substance users at risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors while working toward recovery. You don't have to be addicted to drugs and other substances to have stress and problems in your life that affect how you think and feel. Some people going into treatment for substance abuse have problems in their life that aren't drug related but most do have issues that are.

    Depression is a normal emotion for anyone learning to live life without the use of drugs or alcohol at first, especially anyone who chronically abused them. When individuals come into treatment they may be facing problems with the law, loss of their job, broken relationships, and divorce or pending divorce. Many people are not only learning to live life without using drugs or alcohol but they are also dealing with serious emotional depression and fears.

    These are all reasons during this delicate time an individual may go through suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A good portion of people entering into drug rehabilitation are already stressed to their limit and treatment can become overwhelming. Because of all the emotional problems and challenges associated with substance abuse it's important that chronic users seek help when attempting to stop using drugs or alcohol.

    Chronic substance users experience depression during their drug use also. Experiencing extreme highs of euphoria during use eventually turns into a crash when dopamine levels decrease. Because habitual abuse changes the way your brain functions, after a crash your brain can no longer automatically produce healthy normal levels of dopamine. Your brain is waiting for dopamine to be forced again through substance abuse. Most chronic drug users unless high, are depressed and may experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors. For this reason a professional intervention is critical for many drug and alcohol dependent men, women and young adults. Seeking the help of an experienced interventionist is very successful in getting the user to see their need for help and treatment. Most importantly they can receive help for any psychological and emotional problems they may be going through.

Resources and Reference

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