Substance-Related Disorders

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    Community Voices

    Where are you at in your recovery right now?

    <p>Where are you at in your recovery right now?</p>
    8 people are talking about this

    Leaving Your Parent After Years of Their Substance Use

    I might have been yours when I was 6 months old and couldn’t feed myself. I might have been yours when I was 1 year old and learning to walk. I might have been yours when I was 2 years old and couldn’t cross the street by myself. I might have been yours when I was 3 years old and learning to use the potty. I might have even been yours when I was 4 and learning to ride a two-wheeler or 5 and starting kindergarten. I might have been yours when I was 6 and scared of the dark. I might have been yours when I was 7 years old and had an earache. I might have been yours when I was 8 and 9 and 10 and learning to navigate the world.   But I wasn’t yours when you left me alone by myself all those nights. And I wasn’t yours when you were stumbling around the streets. And I wasn’t yours when you told me I was “annoying” because I said I loved you. I wasn’t yours when you took me away from my entire family. I wasn’t yours when you got drunk and threw my Christmas presents away. I wasn’t yours when you attempted suicide and blamed me. And I wasn’t yours when you stole my medication after I had surgery. I wasn’t yours when you let your girlfriend kick me out of the house. I wasn’t yours when you locked yourself in your room for days at a time. And I wasn’t yours when you left for Atlantic City without telling me. I wasn’t yours when you didn’t teach me how to drive. I wasn’t yours when you didn’t help me with my period. I wasn’t yours when you forgot to teach me about love and sex and how they go together — but even more importantly, how they don’t. I wasn’t yours when you showed up drunk to my high school graduation. I wasn’t yours when you left before they called my name.   I wasn’t yours then, and I’m not yours now.   I’m not yours when I’m studying hard to do my best in graduate school. I’m not yours when I make a good play at shortstop. I’m not yours when I take my medication in the morning or when I go to sleep at night. I’m not yours when I’m planning to have a child. I’m not yours when I think about doing life the right way. I’m not yours when I leave for work every day. I’m not yours when I give life everything I have. I’m not yours when I kiss my husband goodbye. And I’m not yours when he says “I love you” back. I’m not yours when I think about how you’ve hurt me. And I’m not yours when I have flashbacks at night. I’m not yours when I talk about you in therapy. And I’m not yours as I move forward with my life.   I was yours when it had to be that way. I was yours when I had no choice.   But now, I am older, I am wiser, I have a choice, and I am not yours. I am mine.

    Janet Coburn

    We Need Resources for Both Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

    Not long ago, I noticed C-SPAN was going to be featuring testimony before Congress on mental health issues and legislation. I thought I’d see what was up. What I heard was a lot of questions about the opioid crisis and what the nation’s response to that ought to be. I tuned out and turned it off. I had been hoping to hear about issues such as insurance parity, access to treatment, assisted outpatient treatment, and more. Instead, what I got was a focus on substance use. I also recently saw a map that indicated which states had reimbursement programs for substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health initiatives. By far, most of the programs were for SUD. States that covered mental health conditions were in the minority, and most of them provided coverage for both SUD and mental illnesses. I’m not denying substance use is a problem in the U.S. or that legislative attention needs to be paid to it. I know the opioid crisis is tragically affecting individuals and communities across the country. Nonetheless, I wish as much attention was paid to other mental health issues as well. They affect individuals and communities, too. I was a little short-sighted as well as impatient, however. The two topics are not mutually exclusive. Mental illness and drug use are often comorbidities (also called co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses). Still, there are in many places rehab facilities for people who abuse drugs and alcohol, and separate facilities for people with mental illness. The two conditions share many characteristics. Both can be attributed to brain chemistry. Verywell Mind notes, “[t]he activation of the brain’s reward system is central to problems arising from drug use. The rewarding feeling that people experience as a result of taking drugs may be so profound that they neglect other normal activities in favor of taking the drug.” The effects of brain chemistry on mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are not well understood and are even debated. But though the mechanisms of action on the brain may be different, there is little doubt the brain is involved in both addiction and mental illness. Medline Plus notes there are other similarities in possible causation, including genetics, stress, and trauma. Various psychiatric disorders are associated with substance use, including psychotic disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, and neurocognitive disorders. Despite this, PubMed has said, “In spite of the high association between substance use and psychiatric disorders, there is a surprising paucity of studies related to treatment and outcome. A few well-designed studies have been recently published and more studies of this nature are required in order to address the challenges posed in the treatment of dual disorders.” One thorough, well-researched article with many sources listed is available from Mental Help. The latest version of the DSM recognizes the overlapping of substance abuse and mental illness, with substance-related disorders added to the DSM-5. Addiction Policy Forum reports: “The DSM-5 has eleven criteria, or symptoms, for substance use disorders based on decades of research. The DSM-5 has helped change how we think about addictions by not overly focusing on withdrawal.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says, “The best treatment for dual diagnosis is integrated intervention, when a person receives care for both their diagnosed mental illness and substance use disorder. The idea that ‘I cannot treat your depression because you are also drinking’ is outdated — current thinking requires both issues be addressed.” They add that the treatment should consist of six elements: inpatient detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation, psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medications (including those that assist in detoxification), supportive housing such as group homes, self-help, and support groups — whether faith-based or not. Of course, the idea substance use and addiction are diseases has not caught on with many members of the general public. They consider them to be personal failings or the result of having no self-control or hanging around with disreputable friends. Perhaps that is one reason public officials do not listen to those who promote changes in legislation to improve both substance abuse and mental health care. The intersection of addiction and mental health challenges is even more foreign. Advocates who contact their legislators are likely to be brushed off with a, “Thank you for contacting my office” letter. Politicians are also disinclined to listen to medical advisors on the subject, especially now that their attention is focused on COVID-19 policy. Perhaps those who advocate for more enlightened responses to substance use issues, mental health treatment, and dual diagnoses should start a little lower. Educating legislators is fine, but change is not likely to result until their constituents demand it. For one thing, advocates for reform could attend local city or county meetings to counter the pervasive “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) response to treatment facilities. They could also educate their family members and friends about the realities of drug use, mental illness, and the intersection between them. When more people understand these ideas, they may be more likely to support legislative approaches that encompass them. Grassroots efforts such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have worked in the past to contribute to societal change and legislation regarding that problem. It may take a similar effort to achieve change in how addiction and mental illness are understood and treated.

    Community Voices

    Midweek Check-In: How has your week been so far?

    <p>Midweek Check-In: How has your week been so far?</p>
    67 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Madness

    <p>Madness</p>
    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Not again

    I started using when I was 14 I'm 35 now. I used to do once in a while. Well April 2017 went to jail for 1st time for possession, and controlled substance. When I got released I had my mind set I'm done for good. Well about 2 1/2 yrs into my sobriety my husband decides he wants to use & I'm guessing he didn't like me being sober and bettering myself. So about Oct 2019 took my 1st hit and that was it. Since started using again its like I can't stop I dnt get it. I've tried inpatient, group support, AA& NA. And nothing works. I'm lost for words
    #SubstanceRelatedDisorders #relasped #Methaddiction #needhelp

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Like having mental illnesses isn't hard enough, why don't we throw in substance disorders into the mix for some sufferers just to make things EXTRA hard...you know I'm a twinless twin/womb twin survivor, I have bpd major depressive disorder and severe anxiety...add on top of that 43 yrs of ALL KINDS of abuse and sprinkle on addictions and I've got a pretty massive toxic mess...oh did I mention I'm also in a narcissistic abusive relationship....and you get the picture. .... I've hit rock bottom a yr ago and am just drowning in it all and the misery praying death takes me....why must anyone suffer like this AND WORSE than this....no one should have to endure anything so miserable dark and empty existing in feelings that can be compaired to feeling like drowning/dying slowly....I'm not a bad person, I did nothing to deserve this life but be born....idk why I can't find healing...some form of tiny relief...all I can do is pray death comes!!!!and no one notices this pain and misery I've lived my whole existence it's amazing to me how oblivious others are....I'm sorry just venting bc my suffering is in the extreme area and has been for about a month...I pray in the near future I take some steps forward for some kind of relief
    #SubstanceRelatedDisorders

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Keep fighting

    <p>Keep fighting</p>
    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Flawed but Worthy

    <p>Flawed but Worthy</p>
    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Check on your friends

    <p>Check on your friends</p>
    3 people are talking about this