For many recovering alcoholics, the mental health aspects of treatment are the most important. Improving mental health means helping patients better understand the chronic condition they are suffering from. It means equipping them with the tools they need to control their thoughts and emotions, avoid addictive triggers, and just stay away from alcohol altogether.

Research shows drug use is more common among arrestees than the general population. The Office of National Drug Control Policy reported that 63 to 83 percent of people arrested in five major metropolitan areas in 2013 tested positive for at least one illicit drug. The three most common drugs present during tests were marijuana, cocaine and opiates, and many people tested positive for multiple drugs.
In the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million American adults reported a past-year substance use disorder, and out of this group 7.9 million (39.1 percent) also suffered from a co-occurring mental health disorder. The range of co-occurring disorders known to coincide with drug addiction is broad and includes virtually every type of mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
In many cases, symptoms of the mental health disorder appear first. As they become more and more overwhelming, the patient may attempt to “treat” those symptoms by using different drugs. For example, a patient who struggles with depression may attempt to improve their mood by taking heroin or prescription drugs. Patients who are living with anxiety may try to calm themselves by smoking marijuana. Conversely, someone dealing with an eating disorder may attempt to further their weight loss attempts by abusing stimulant drugs like cocaine or crystal meth.
Alcohol is known for lowering inhibitions, but when alcohol is combined with risky activities, such as driving/operating machinery or taking drugs (either prescription or recreational), this may be an indication that alcohol is being taken in at abusive levels. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns that mixing alcohol with medication can cause internal bleeding and heart problems, as well as cause liver damage and make the medications toxic to the body.
Get treatment for other medical or mental health issues. People often abuse alcohol to ease the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety. As you seek help for alcohol addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other psychological issues you’re experiencing. Your best chance of recovery is by getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team.
At Costa Rica Treatment Center we ensure that every aspect of our client’s stay is delivered at the highest standard of professional care. We pride ourselves in offering the highest staff to patient ratio in the region. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Family Therapists, Trauma Specialists, Counselors, Art Therapists, Yoga Teachers, Life Coaches, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, and Recovery Mentors. Collectively, our team is responsible for creating the client’s individual addictions treatment plan.

Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all common results of alcohol dependency. This is because prolonged heavy drinking effects the neurotransmitters in the brain which regulate mood. Two of the most important neurotransmitters for mood are dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for creating the positive feelings vital for a healthy mind. Research shows that the levels of both serotonin and dopamine are often heavily altered in the brains of alcoholics, leading to deteriorating mental health and, often, a negative spiral of alcohol use.
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Alcohol is a legal controlled substance that slows down the body’s vital functions when consumed in excess. Its many forms include beer, wine and liquor. Some of the physical effects of heavy alcohol consumption are slurred speech, loss of coordination and slowed reaction time. Psychological effects include inhibiting judgment and lowering a person’s ability to think rationally. Typically, drinking alcohol in moderation does not signify a problem. However, consuming more than four alcoholic beverages per day for men – or more than three per day for women – can indicate an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
^ Blum K, Werner T, Carnes S, Carnes P, Bowirrat A, Giordano J, Oscar-Berman M, Gold M (2012). "Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll: hypothesizing common mesolimbic activation as a function of reward gene polymorphisms". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 44 (1): 38–55. doi:10.1080/02791072.2012.662112. PMC 4040958. PMID 22641964. It has been found that deltaFosB gene in the NAc is critical for reinforcing effects of sexual reward. Pitchers and colleagues (2010) reported that sexual experience was shown to cause DeltaFosB accumulation in several limbic brain regions including the NAc, medial pre-frontal cortex, VTA, caudate, and putamen, but not the medial preoptic nucleus. Next, the induction of c-Fos, a downstream (repressed) target of DeltaFosB, was measured in sexually experienced and naive animals. The number of mating-induced c-Fos-IR cells was significantly decreased in sexually experienced animals compared to sexually naive controls. Finally, DeltaFosB levels and its activity in the NAc were manipulated using viral-mediated gene transfer to study its potential role in mediating sexual experience and experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance. Animals with DeltaFosB overexpression displayed enhanced facilitation of sexual performance with sexual experience relative to controls. In contrast, the expression of DeltaJunD, a dominant-negative binding partner of DeltaFosB, attenuated sexual experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance, and stunted long-term maintenance of facilitation compared to DeltaFosB overexpressing group. Together, these findings support a critical role for DeltaFosB expression in the NAc in the reinforcing effects of sexual behavior and sexual experience-induced facilitation of sexual performance. ... both drug addiction and sexual addiction represent pathological forms of neuroplasticity along with the emergence of aberrant behaviors involving a cascade of neurochemical changes mainly in the brain's rewarding circuitry.
contribute to mental illness including depression and anxietycause significant liver damage, ultimately preventing the liver from functioningcontribute to developing one of several different kinds of cancerincrease your chances of developing heart diseaseincrease your chances of using other drugscontribute to developing chronic hypertensionlead to the loss of your job and, as a result, financial instabilitydo irreparable harm to your marriage/family relationshipslead you to a life controlled by addictionlead you to a life of crime as you seek to support your addiction.

This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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