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Is Addiction a Mental Illness?

There is no uncertainty that addiction is an illness that should be taken seriously. Going to a sophisticated and thorough rehab program can help you learn coping skills and help you find the reason that you may be addicted in the first place. One of those reasons may very well be that you are suffering from a mental illness.

The Connection Between Addiction and Mental Illness

Those who suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder are more likely to become addicted because they are seeking control over their environment. Furthermore, individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives or are suffering from an undiagnosed condition such as ADHD may become addicted to help themselves tamp down their symptoms. However, there are cases in which people are simply wired to become addicted to anything from soda to gambling to drugs and alcohol.

Can Addiction Be a Mental Illness in Itself?

For some, the fact that they are more likely to become addicted through no fault of their own is a sign that addiction is a type of mental illness. While we all have vices, those who are mentally ill have a harder time controlling their urge to get their next high or have that next drink. Research has indicated that children of parents who were addicts in the past are more likely to become addicted themselves. Additionally, those who have become addicted to anything even if it is legal or safe are more likely to become addicted.

How Does Rehab Help?

If you have a mental illness or another condition that may have contributed to your addiction, rehab facilities have professionals who can finally diagnose you. In the event that you are addicted to opiates or other drugs that literally alter your chemical makeup, detox can help you get back to normal or put you on the path to recovery. As drugs can change the way your mind works, researchers have determined that those who are addicted to drugs can be classified as mentally ill.

Addiction should be treated as a mental illness and public health crisis. When framed as such, it removes the stigma of addiction, which may help individuals get the help that they need. If you are suffering from addiction or know someone who is, guiding that person to rehab or other health services can help that person stay alive long enough to recover.

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