Drug Abuse in Mental Health Patients Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Drug abuse among patients with mental problems is a serious issue that has gained some popularity in America today because it affects people from all lifestyles and age groups. The associated health problems are common, serious, and recurrent although the prospects of recovery on both issues cannot be ruled out. Therefore, knowledge on common drug abuse and mental health problems is important. It helps the society and other stakeholders in recognizing their signs and guiding victims to seek medical help. Studies of drug abuse in mental health patients confirm their high comorbidity hence the classification as ‘co-occurring’ or ‘dual’ disorders.

Mental disorders normally involve the change in and people’s thinking, behavior, and mood that later affects how they make certain choices and their relationship to other people in society. They occur in different forms such as schizophrenia, which makes an individual have extremely bad temperament (Newman, 2016). Moreover, some people can be deep-rooted in deep anxiety levels, their reduced ability to focus or even behave appropriately. Drug abuse is a common problem today. It is related to the consumptions of non-prescribed substances recurrently such as alcohol or drugs resulting in the significant impairment or altered cognition. In the long term, it may result in disability, health problems, and failure to adhere to essential routines such completing tasks or attending school. It can be classified as a co-occurring condition when mental health patients are involved.

There is a significant and strong relationship between drug abuse and mental illness. Many people believe that drug abuse is a precursor to mental illness because many people tend to consume drugs that alter the function of the brain. Although this could be true, the argument can be disputed in instances where mental health problems are associated with family history/genetics, exposure to environmental triggers as seen in the case of PTSD, or in case of accidents resulting in the damage of some brain cells. Therefore, the following handout expounds the health issue further whilst educating the audience on ways that can be adopted so that the millennials are not affected. The message from the handout will show the young generation that there is hope for drug users with mental illness. The support system present in our societies, learning institutions among others and self-help groups goes a long way in reaching out to such individuals. Moreover, there is a window to overcome dual diagnosis and reclaim one’s life.

Description of Audience

The young adults are the target audience for this handout because they are the most affected by the health issue. The millennials have a high propensity of moving back with their because of economic constraints or their growing tendency of delaying typical adulthood rites of passage like starting a career. They are also known as Gen Y.

The characteristics of these Millennials is that of being lazy, are prone to jump from job to job and narcissistic. Moreover, the quick when adapting to the rapid technological changes taking place in the world. Millennials are known to be politically and civically disengaged because they focus more on material things and this makes them prone to engage in drug abuse. Such behaviors have made this audience to be less concerned when helping in the community. The trend of this generation emphasizes their extrinsic values such as fame and money and less on their intrinsic values that encompass things like group affiliation, self-acceptance, and community.

Moreover, millennials are open-minded, self-expressive, confident, are receptive to new ideas and ways of living and liberal. Besides, they are known to engage in less sexual activities, and this is good because the risk of them getting infections has been lessened. They are more likely to use public libraries thereby creating an avenue through which the message of drug abuse in mental health patients can be delivered to them.

Description of the health issue

Addiction is the physical and psychological dependence of an individual on drugs or even multiple drugs including alcohol (DrugAbuse.com, 2017). Mental illness is the state of imbalance present in an individual and the US, DSM-5 is the standard used to identify the characteristics of this disorder. The industry standard will offer different diagnostic criteria sets for each mental illness. Moreover, the standard supplies classification information and explanations of the specified disorder.

Comorbidity describes two or more illnesses that occur in the same person. In this case, the focus is on drug abuse in mental health patients, which happens…

Online Sources Used in Document:


Berkman, N., Davis, T. and McCormack, l. (2010). Health literacy: What is it? Journal of Health Communication, 15(S2): 9-19.

DrugAbuse.com (2017). Mental health and drug abuse. Retrieved from https://drugabuse.com/library/mental-health-and-drug-abuse/

Newman, T. (2016). Schizophrenia risk increased with alcohol, drug abuse. Medical News Today.

NIH. (2011). Comorbidity: Addiction and other mental disorders. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/comorbidity-addiction-other-mental-disorders

SAMHSA. (2017). Mental and substance use disorders. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders

Speros, C. I. (2011). Promoting health literacy: a nursing imperative. Nursing Clinics of North America, 46(3), 321-333.

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