Drug and alcohol abuse keeps people from having the best lives they can. It can hurt people’s mental and physical health, their ability to work, and their relationships.
“I need a drink!”
“I just want to forget.”
“It’s the only thing that makes me feel good.”
Sometimes people use alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with stress, depression or trauma. But they don’t realize until it’s too late how it’s hurting their health, negatively impacting their lives, or that they’re addicted and can’t stop. If this might be a risk for you, see the Wellness Toolbox for healthy ways to reduce stress and increase coping skills.
Mental illness is often linked with drug or alcohol problems. For example, nearly half of people with bipolar disorder also have issues with alcohol abuse, and each can make the symptoms of the other one worse. If you have both a serious mental illness and substance abuse, it's called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder, and treatment may require a specialist. Also, sometimes it's hard to tell if symptoms are due to drugs, alcohol or mental illness, and professional assessment may be needed.
For dual diagnosis assessment and referral, contact the VCBH Star Team at (866) 998-2243. For alcohol and drug treatment services, contact Ventura County Behavioral Health, Alcohol & Drug Programs at (805) 981-9200.