Exploring The Connection Between Mental Health And Addiction

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Mental health and addiction are two issues that are closely intertwined, with one often leading to the other. While mental health disorders can increase the likelihood of developing an addiction, substance abuse can also worsen existing mental health conditions.

How Addiction Can Worsen Mental Health

Mental health disorders, such as, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can make people more vulnerable to addiction and use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and alleviate their symptoms. However, this often leads to a vicious cycle of addiction and worsening mental health. Substance abuse can exacerbate mental health disorders, increasing anxiety, depression, or other negative symptoms.

On the other hand, substance abuse can also lead to the development of mental health disorders. For example, prolonged alcohol and drug use can damage the brain, leading to memory loss, depression, and anxiety. Substance abuse can also cause chemical imbalances in the brain, making individuals more susceptible to mental health disorders.

To break the cycle of addiction and mental health disorders, it’s crucial to seek treatment from a professional facility that specializes in both areas. Treatment facilities can provide comprehensive care that addresses addiction and mental health disorder’s root causes. 

Trauma is any experience that causes physical, emotional, or psychological distress.

Traumatic Experiences And Addiction

Trauma is any experience that causes physical, emotional, or psychological distress. It can include abuse, neglect, accidents, natural disasters, and violence. Trauma can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental health and lead to eating disorders, deperession, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Trauma is also a major risk factor for addiction. Many people use drugs or alcohol to deal with stressors and the emotional pain of trauma. Drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief from the emotional pain of trauma. However, addiction can develop, making the original trauma even harder to address.

Treating addiction in people with a history of trauma requires a specialized approach. Trauma-informed care recognizes that trauma can profoundly impact a person’s life, and addiction may be a way of coping with that trauma. Trauma-informed care seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for individuals with a history of trauma and focuses on healing the underlying trauma that may be driving the addiction.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis

Addiction and mental health disorders often go hand-in-hand. People struggling with addiction are at higher risk for developing mental health issues, and those with mental health disorders are more likely to turn to substance abuse to cope with their symptoms. Treating addiction and mental health issues together, known as dual diagnosis, can greatly improve outcomes for individuals struggling with both.

Dual diagnosis recognizes that addiction and mental health disorders are interlinked and must be treated together. This approach addresses the underlying causes of addiction and mental health issues, such as trauma, anxiety, or depression, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Treating addiction and mental health disorders together can lead to better outcomes for patients. Studies show that people who receive integrated treatment for both addiction and mental health issues have lower relapse rates, improved mental health, and a better quality of life. In addition, dual diagnosis can help patients better understand the connection between their addiction and mental health disorders and help them develop healthy coping strategies to manage their symptoms.

Stigma is a major barrier to seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues.

Stigma Toward Substance Use Disorders And Mental health

Stigma is a major barrier to seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. Negative attitudes and beliefs about addiction and mental health can prevent individuals from seeking the help they need and make it harder for them to access health care. Stigma can also lead to discrimination and marginalization, making it harder for individuals to maintain healthy relationships and engage in meaningful work.

Breaking The Stigma

To overcome the impact of stigma on addiction and mental health treatment, we must work to create a more supportive and accepting culture. This means challenging negative viewpoints toward addiction and mental health problems and promoting education and awareness about the nature of these conditions.

Treatment Options

Treatment options may include therapy, medication management, and support groups. Therapy can help individuals learn coping mechanisms to manage their mental health disorders without using drugs or alcohol. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a typical therapy for treating addiction and mental health disorders. CBT helps individuals identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones, improving their mental health and decreasing their risk of relapse.

Medication management is also important in treating mental health disorders and addiction. Medications can help individuals manage their symptoms and reduce their cravings for drugs or alcohol. However, it’s important to note that medication should always be used in conjunction with therapy and other treatment methods.

Support groups can also benefit individuals recovering from addiction and mental health disorders by providing a sense of community and belonging, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. They also provide a space for individuals to share their experiences and learn from others who are going through similar struggles.

Treatment options may include therapy, medication management, and support groups.

Contact Launch Centers

If you or a loved one suffers from a mental health disorder and addiction, contact Launch Centers in Los Angeles, California. Our treatment center provides comprehensive addiction and mental health programs guided by experienced and qualified therapists, clinicians, and staff members specializing in substance abuse. We provide comprehensive care and support based on your needs to help you overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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