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Connection Between Drug Abuse and Mental Health

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Khantzian examines both sides of my topic through his solidarity efforts in this article. As the title suggests, many addicts choose substances to help mask their pain and depression. He also states, that many of these drugs such as heroin and cocaine can bring upon many mental disorders as well. As we have learned from the book, heroin can bring upon many physical and mental effects when one is trying to stop use. This is also backed up by this article. Khantzian states that heroin and cocaine are often the drugs of choice because they offer pain relief. Not only pain from injury but also from psychological traumas as well, such as loss of a loved one or PTSD. The author also reveals the fact that many individuals reported to have started drugs just for something to do. Which can certainly provide insight into the small-town occurrences given in Dream Land.

These findings, back up the things learned from the novel being examined. I feel that since they mentioned that boredom is certainly correlated to drug use was highly accurate. Many people become bored, and enter drugs for merely something to do. Although, boredom is certainly not the only cause, it does make up a good majority of causation. I also found it interesting that heroin became a choice for reasons other than physical pain. Although, the book described instances of prior medications leading towards heroin after cessation, many use this hard drug to escape emotional pain as well. Much stigma is associated to mental illness, because over lookers cannot see the physical pain, however, in most cases, this pain can sometimes be more detrimental and painful than physical illness.

Lakhan, in this article realizes that more often than not, Psychiatrists are prescribing medications for mental disorders, and he claims the numbers are alarming. However, he has a much better intervention for such issues, and its untypical. He suggests that those suffering from problems such as depression and bipolar should not always be treated with medication, rather balanced diets that are highly nutritious. Most psychological conditions are occurring in the United States more than anywhere else in the world. America has nearly 26%, whereas countries such as China only have 4%. He claims there are certain supplements that can aid the symptoms of these disorders and these methods are less risky than typical medications. However, many doctors do not recommend these alternatives because they simply would lose money.

Throughout my research paper, I have found a lot of information discussing drug addiction and mental illness, however, no alternatives to medication. This research will help me show how there are other options that do not include taking highly addictive pills. Nutrition can actually solve many issues, and physical problems as well. I feel that this information will help me with my research, because I can reveal healthier alternative treatments.

Link, et al. examines the stigma of someone dealing with both mental illness and drug addiction. This studied revealed that negative stigmas can actually provide positive outcomes in patients. For instance, the subjects were given negative comments on his addiction, which internalized strength and proactiveness to change these titles. There were approximately 84 men studied in this experiment whom all had double diagnoses of some sort of mental illness as well as a drug addiction. Each candidate was interviewed in separate times, one when they had both addiction and disorder, and once after the addiction has been treated. Many of these interviewed individuals faced addictions due to their mental states, however, some developed such issues to try and escape several of the harsh side effects that conclude from these mental disorders. For instance, those with anxiety often smoke weed because it alleviates their anxiety symptoms. However, for some, it actually causes mental illnesses to come about, such as anxiety and/or depression. Surfacing from this research was the idea that more stigma concludes from mental illnesses rather than drug addictions.

The information in this study is extremely significant regarding my research question. It helps explain different types of mental disorders, as well as the experiences of having both a disorder and an addiction all in one. As stated earlier, many people are given drugs that are addictive in nature, to try and mask the issue at hand. These prescriptions act very similarly to the ones described in the book. Many are simply assigned such drugs due to the money involved, when in fact, there are better methods available to help these individuals. The surveys and research based evidence provided in this reading with help guide me alone in determining the answer to my research question.

Moore, et. al. study the effects of cannabis use on the mental state of those examined. Several other studies previously done helped aid this research as well as the claims produced in this article. Amongst users examined, many revealed that smoking marijuana brought upon several positive and negative effects regarding their mental states. Many users of this drug report their mental illnesses symptoms of sadness and anxiety to completely disappear after toking. Whereas, other users claimed to bring upon such symptoms as well as paranoia. These mixed results are somewhat found in all studies done on these topics. However, one thing is certain, first time smokers generally receive more anxiety, as it fades from religious use. Many scholars and doctors claim that marijuana is harmless and nonaddictive, however, this study reveals that is not always the case. Individuals react differently, and those with mental illnesses should certainly be cautious.

I feel these studies are extremely important in my research. This is true for many reasons. Many doctors and psychiatrists are actually prescribing marijuana to replace current medications being taken. Although, they claim marijuana to not be addictive, many people become dependent on it, and face difficulties when quitting. I feel these examinations reveal several important realizations. One of the major ones being that mental illnesses both cause need for drugs, as well as drugs causing such issues as well. Some people, who had never smoked before developed mental illnesses. As well as many users start smoking or using recreational drugs or even prescribed drugs to help alleviate mental illnesses. Such instances are very alarming, especially in a world that promotes and speaks highly of medical marijuana. Although, many cases have revealed it to be a better alternative, that is not always the truth.

The findings in this study are quite interesting. The authors not only study mental illness, but also drug addiction and noncompliance of medication as well, with the added aspects of violence. It was discovered, that individuals with mental illnesses can become extremely violent when they either are addicted to substances, or when they are not taking recommended medications to treat their mental disorders. According to Swarts, et. al.: “Taken together, these findings suggest that medication noncompliance may exert an effect on violence by means of a preexisting or concomitant relationship with alcohol or other drug abuse. Both of these variables—substance abuse and medication nonadherence—may combine to increase the risk of violence, or perhaps a third variable, such as poor insight into illness “(Swartz, et. al., p. 2, 1998). This revealed, that even when abuse is not current, it has lasting effects on individuals and their violence ratings.

This study is very interesting, and I feel audiences can also learn a lot from it. Prior to reading this research, I was unknowing of such ideas. The fact that even previous addictions can cause violence and noncompliance certainly aids my understanding of my research topic. It helps connect the dots that both mental health and drug addictions correlate simultaneously. Not only can drug use cause mental issues, but violence as well in those whom do not follow the guidelines of their caretakers and doctors. However, this also brings up even more questions, because as the book claimed, many doctors are uncaring of their patients. They simply prescribe drugs to make a profit. Not to mention, that many doctors are unfamiliar with how many patients develop addictions due to the medications prescribed as the book suggested.

Whitaker takes a different approach to addressing such alarming issues. He begins this article with describing how mental illness in the United States has increased significantly within the last 50 years. Just as mental illness has increased, so did prescriptions prescribed for such illnesses. He claimed that the first prescription to help combat this issue was called Prozac. Once this occurred, mental illness appeared to double. Many believe this was money related, and not actually a rise in mental illness, however, it is uncertain. This article takes more of a psychological approach compared to others. It’s important with such issues, because the same thing happened in the book that we read. Many people misused these medications and lied to be allocated them.

I will use many pieces of this article within my paper. I feel it is not only necessary but important to add components from Psychological perspectives. These points go to show that mental illness causes addictions, especially when doctors are prescribing medications that can be highly addictive. But it also shows that drug addiction can cause mental illness to, because several people experienced just that. I feel that these cases are very similar to the pain medications in the novel. The only difference is that these drugs prescribed by psychiatrists are generally medications that will not be cut off. I also feel that it is important to look at the intentions of medical staff, as well as the individuals to determine who is at fault. Is it the doctors who are misdiagnosing for the pure reason of money? Or is it patients making up lies to receive medications to get high off of?

Although, this article does not very well much explain the answer to my research question parse. It does, however, reveal the importance and need for change regarding drug and mental illnesses. These studies reveal that both cases cause extreme burdens to taxpayers as well as other societal members alike. Although, mental illness can somewhat not be provoked, as many findings have suggested, drug use can cause them. But, so can many other circumstances as well. Mental illness is faced by many people, of many races, ages, and classes. Not only are those utilizing drugs the only ones affected by the devastation of depression, anxiety, and paranoia. This article showcases why advocates are needed to life such burdens.

I feel that this article will help me with the initial aspects of my paper. I will show the statistics of the problems of both drug addiction and mental illness as well as the amount of burden it has on families and tax payers as well. This answer the question of why such issues matter. By also including ideas that drug addiction can cause mental illness, I will show how some mental illness can be avoided. Although, this isn’t the case in all circumstances, drug addictions should be examined closer. As well as interventions and deterrents should be addressed, because many are paying for these, and money could be allocated to many other areas of this country. Such as for the homeless or combatting disease.

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Connection Between Drug Abuse and Mental Health. (2018, October 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from
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