Research done over the past twenty years has shown a definitive correlation between substance addiction and mental illness. The National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that “mental health disorder patients are responsible for the consumption of 38% of alcohol, 44% of cocaine, and 40% of cigarettes.” Additionally, according to the report, those that may not be active patients but were diagnosed with some sort of mental health disorder at some point in their lives comprise almost 70% of total alcohol consumption, and 84% of cocaine consumption. As for whether or not addiction causes other mental disorders, signs sure seem to point that way. Addiction is a disease that takes over the mind’s pleasure system, slowly transforming the brain from a high functioning organ responsible for providing instructions to your entire body to little more than a muscle that can think of nothing else but its next fix. With this sort of transformation, it is very possible (and even probable) that there are a number of other issues that will arise. One can certainly see what could develop into a mental health issue in the way a drug addict’s disposition changes when they are on a drug. When addicted, users are often completely different versions of themselves. In some cases, they exhibit extremely aggressive behaviors, and can be manipulative, threatening, or even downright dangerous. Some addicts will steal from and hurt loved ones, pursue criminal activities, and take part in things that they would never have imagined doing when they were sober. It is almost like they become more than just different versions of themselves. They become different people. All of these descriptions sound very much like there could be a lot more wrong than just an addiction. Regardless of whether it directly contributes to mental health issues, addiction opens the gates for a number of underlying issues to make their presence known as well. Studies indicate a very high rate of individuals admitted to addiction recovery centers are diagnosed with additional disorders that often have to be treated with medication. While it is not known if these disorders are apparent before the addiction, it is safe to assume that the addiction enhances them considerably. Speaking of underlying problems, it pays to know that many people that suffer from addiction pursued substances in the first place as a means of dealing with or hiding from problems like guilt, regret, or fear. If you are one of these people, hopefully knowing that substances actually increase the severity of these problems in the long run will encourage you to seek therapy, counseling, or both! Addiction is nothing to play with, and neither is any other mental illness. It’s never too late to start living your best life. Call us at (877)279-1777 to find out how!