Not everyone who uses alcohol/drugs has or develops mental health issues. While addictions can sometimes deepen a mental illness that’s already exists, some people develop symptoms of mental distress only after they’ve altered their brain cells with drugs. On the other hand, sometimes symptoms of mental illnesses do occur and a person chooses a substance to use to help reduce the symptoms.1 The most common co-occurring mental illness/addiction combinations today are 1) Alcohol Abuse and Anti-Social Personality Disorder, 2) Marijuana Addiction and Schizophrenia, 3) Cocaine Addiction and Anxiety Disorders, 4) Opioid Addiction and PTSD, and 5) Heroin Addiction and Depression.2 Assessing populations already at risk for substance abuse for their past/present involvement in mental health treatment reveals another layer of treatment needed in our community.
The Criminal Justice sample consisted of jail inmates, drug court participants and probationers in Fairfield County. The SA Treatment sample consisted of individuals enrolled in substance abuse treatment at The Recovery Center.