A NIDA Research Report indicates, “43 percent of people in treatment for nonmedical use of prescription painkillers have a diagnosis or symptoms of mental health disorders, particularly depression and anxiety. About half of people who experience a mental illness will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.”
Vice versa: Chicken and egg
The NIDA Report says, “Establishing causality or directionality is difficult. People may be undiagnosed due to subclinical symptoms, but subclinical mental health issues may prompt drug use. Also, people’s recollections of when drug use/abuse started may be imperfect, making it difficult to determine if substance use or mental health issues came first. Common risk factors can contribute to both mental illness and substance use disorder.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, or DSM-5, has 11 criteria, or symptoms, for substance use disorders.
Substance use and mental health disorders are complex co-conditions – and double trouble.