Dual Diagnosis Dilemma: Deciphering the Complex Relationship Between Mental Health and Addiction

Updated on November 16, 2023
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Do you know? Over 40 million people aged over 12 or more suffer from substance use. It has become one of the major problems in the US. This is because social and peer relationships take control over people’s lives. Hence, this leads them to major mental crises and suffering

Furthermore, this has led to an increase in dual diagnosis in young men and women. Generally, dual diagnosis mainly refers to people who are suffering from poor mental health and substance at the same time. Consequently, there are over 10 million people currently suffering from dual diagnosis issues. 

Moreover, it also has become a hot topic in the American Health System, with different stakeholders looking to solve the issue. 

Therefore, in order to spread awareness in large numbers, we will discuss the ways substance abuse affects mental health.

How Does Addiction Affect Mental Health?

As discussed earlier, substance abuse is one of the growing concerns in the US, especially among the youth. After all, they’re the ones who suffer the most due to substance addiction. In addition, substance abuse includes – 

  • Cannabis 
  • Magic Mushrooms 
  • Alcohol and many more.

Hence, these things are directly associated with incurring poor mental health in people. This later leads to depression, anxiety, and panic attacks in people. 

Here are a few other things that you need to know about – 

Long-Term Mental Problems 

You must have read that countries like Canada are legalizing cannabis. And, why wouldn’t it be? It offers quite a positive effect on the human mind, after all. However, like everything else — there should always be a limitation to how much you should take it. To be clear, if you take the substance more, you are bound to have long-term mental problems. 

This is because it triggers certain emotions in your brain, which regulates your emotions afterward. Additionally, when you take things like alcohol, at times, you will feel confident to speak. Later, it’ll trigger negative emotions, which will lead to anxiety, anger, and depression. 

Also, the more you take the substance, the longer it is going to affect your mental health — therefore, giving you long-term mental health problems. 

Develops Psychosis Or Schizophrenia   

Another major effect of drug and substance abuse is it leads to psychosis or Schizophrenia. 

It’s a rather chronic disease, which is found in 1% of the American population, where people hallucinate things. Also, you will see symptoms like – 

  • Delusions 
  • Unorganized speech 
  • Slow Movements 
  • Change in Sleep patterns, and many more. 

All of these happen when you take drugs like cannabis and magic mushrooms. They lead people to hallucinate things that affect their way of living forever. 

Even medications like LSD, which bring people create an alternate reality. Hence keeping them out of the realities of life.   

In other words, when you intake alcohol or other things, you seem to trigger your traumas. This later leads to changes in your behavior and emotions. Recently, in a study, it was found that 47% of people get Schizophrenia due to substance abuse.  

Commonly Used Substances 

Here is a list of commonly used substances by current youth – 

Narcotics Medicines 

One of the biggest substances people use to enjoy is narcotics medicines. They are mainly Opiates, which are mainly painkillers. Consequently, they trigger intense emotions in people. 

Along with these, there are several other drugs like Heroin, Opium, and Codeline, which are responsible for affecting the mental health of people. 


They are the creation of good things. Alas! People use it for other things. Depressants are mainly responsible for reducing anxiety in people. 

Mostly, it includes alcohol, ValiumAtivan, and Xanax; consequently, when you use these substances, it leads to addiction. Hence, it leads to severe mental health issues in people. 


Stimulants are mainly drugs that affect the brain and the nervous system. It includes drugs like Cocaine and amphetamines. These drugs especially treat ADHD. 

Consequently, if you take the medications at greater lengths, then you will have poor mental health. This can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies in people.  


LSD includes drugs like mescaline, psilocybin, and phencyclidine. This can lead to humans hallucinating things and creating an alternative reality around them. 

Mostly, it is taken by artists, who use the substance to get inspiration. However, they forget in the long term. This affects the way they look at reality. 

Get Good Support 

In the end, we can say that if you cannot control the reduction of substance abuse, then you should get good support. It includes getting proper therapy and exercise, which help you to get over the addiction. Also, you consult a psychologist at regular intervals, who will help you to manage your emotions. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.