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The Complex Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health

Home » Blog » The Complex Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health

Addiction to drugs and alcohol, often referred to as Substance Use Disorder (SUD), is a prevalent mental health issue. It arises from a combination of behavioral, biological, and environmental factors, significantly disrupting one’s ability to function at work or school, maintain healthy relationships, and cope with stress. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 20 million people aged 12 or older have a substance use disorder related to alcohol or illicit drugs. Understanding the intricate relationship between addiction and mental health is crucial for effective treatment and recovery.

The Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Scientific studies reveal that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also encounter a substance use disorder. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that an estimated 9.2 million adults aged 18 or older had both a mental health problem and an addiction to at least one substance in the past year. Additionally, 3.2 million adults had a co-occurring severe mental health problem and substance abuse.

Medical and mental health professionals theorize several reasons for these overlapping issues: 

 – Certain illegal drugs can induce symptoms of mental health problems in individuals with addiction issues. 

– Some individuals with mental health problems may misuse drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. 

– Mental and substance use disorders share underlying causes, including changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma.

Six Important Facts About the Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health

1. Untreated Mental Health Disorders Increase the Risk of Substance Abuse: Individuals with untreated mental disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. While substances may provide temporary relief, they can worsen symptoms over time, creating a vicious cycle of addiction.

2. Substance Abuse Can Cause Mental Health Problems: Although not everyone who misuses substances will develop mental health issues, those predisposed to mental health disorders may have their symptoms triggered by substance abuse.

3. Substance Abuse Shares Common Symptoms with Mental Health Issues: For example, alcohol and other central nervous system depressants can trigger symptoms of depression, while stimulants like cocaine can cause drug-induced psychosis, a symptom associated with schizophrenia. Chronic use of these substances can lead to irreversible changes in brain chemistry.

4. Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders Are Treatable: Whether an individual has a mental disorder, a substance use disorder, or both, various treatment options are available for effective and long-term symptom management. 

5. Dual Diagnosis Requires Integrated Treatment: When mental health disorders and substance use disorders co-occur, integrated treatment approaches that address both issues simultaneously are often the most effective. This can include a combination of medication, therapy, and support groups.

6. Trauma is a Common Link: Many individuals with substance use disorders and mental health issues have histories of trauma. Traumatic experiences can significantly increase the risk of developing both types of disorders, and addressing trauma is often a crucial part of recovery.

General Warning Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders

Identifying whether symptoms are linked to a mental health disorder or a substance use problem can be challenging.

However, some general warning signs indicate a co-occurring disorder:

– Using alcohol or drugs to cope with unpleasant memories or feelings, or to control pain or mood intensity.

– Feeling depressed, anxious, or plagued by unpleasant memories when using drugs or alcohol. 

– Feeling depressed or anxious even when sober.

– Having a family member who has struggled with both a mental disorder and substance abuse.

Getting Help for Co-Occurring Disorders

Recognizing the signs of co-occurring disorders in yourself or a loved one is a crucial first step towards recovery. The intersection of mental health and addiction issues can seem overwhelming, but effective treatment is available. Individual responses to treatment vary; some may see immediate improvements, while others might need to try different approaches before finding what works best. Persistence in seeking treatment is essential, as proven methods are effective. 

Hathaway Recovery stands out in the field of addiction treatment with its emphasis on personalized care. Recognizing that each journey through addiction is unique, Hathaway Recovery specializes in creating customized treatment plans tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each client. Their evidence-based approach, which incorporates both behavioral and experiential therapy, is designed to address not just the addiction but also the underlying personal issues that contribute to it.

The environment at Hathaway Recovery is carefully crafted to foster healing and recovery. Their facilities offer a serene and comfortable setting, essential for the challenging journey of overcoming addiction. The center’s commitment to privacy and comfort reflects their understanding of the need for a safe and supportive space during the recovery process.

Hathaway Recovery’s approach to addiction treatment represents a new beginning for those struggling with addiction. Their comprehensive care model integrates the latest in addiction science with a deep understanding of the personal and environmental factors that influence each individual’s path to recovery. 

By focusing on personalized care, Hathaway Recovery offers more than just medical treatment; they offer a journey towards personal empowerment and a fresh start in life. For anyone seeking a transformative path to health and fulfillment, Hathaway Recovery extends a helping hand, guiding individuals towards a healthier, more fulfilling future. While the road to recovery can be challenging, understanding what to expect from rehab programs and choosing a center like Hathaway Recovery can significantly impact the journey’s success. Their dedication to providing personalized, comprehensive care sets a strong foundation for effective recovery and a brighter future ahead.


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
  • Hathaway Recovery Center is the real deal. They helped me find myself when I was completely lost. After I lost the mother of my child due to a tragic accident. The therapists and counselors truly cared. We made a relationship with each other that was unbreakable. The other clients were awesome roommates and true to me. The house managers were great and the living situations were awesome. If I ever even think about slipping up I’ll be returning. Today I have over one year clean.

    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

  • A very welcoming environment and kind hearted staff that really took care of my relative and cleaned him up. Thanks Hathaway recovery.

  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

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