The 1in5 campaign focuses on normalizing the need for mental health resources and removing barriers for those who want to access care. Starting the conversation regarding these significant yet treatable issues also opens the door to providing support.
Throughout the month, we are exploring a variety of mental health topics. This week we focus on substance use. Read on to understand the various causes, risk factors and potential treatments for substance use concerns.
Recognizing substance use
When faced with prolonged stress, trauma or crisis, it can be difficult to identify healthy ways to cope with emotional, mental and physical strain. In fact, one in 15 adults experiences both a mental health concern and substance use disorder.
There are various reasons why an individual might experience a substance use concern. Some of these might include:
- The substances affect on brain chemistry, triggering intense feelings of happiness and relaxation
- Genetics – addiction can run in families
- Social pressure
- Underlying mental health concern
Replacing negative feelings and emotions with alcohol or drugs can lead to addiction. Symptoms of substance use may include the following:
- Isolation from others
- Mood swings
- Bloodshot eyes
- Physical deterioration
- Missing work or relying on the substance to function
If you or a loved one exhibit one or more of these symptoms, it might be time to consider reaching out for support.
Treatment is key to addressing addiction. Seek help from a mental health professional or other health care provider if you are experiencing mental health concerns. An abundance of resources is available to help with substance use or addiction, and research shows that most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using substances for the long term.
Help is available
As always, your EAP is available 24/7/365 to provide advocacy and resources to support various mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, stress, work-related pressures, relationship issues or substance use. Call 888-881-5462 or visit https://psh.mysupportportal.com.
Source: SupportLinc EAP; National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).