Whether you're a healthcare provider or a patient, addiction and mental health often go hand in hand. Here are three reasons you might want to consider treating both.

Co-occurring disorders

Symptoms of both mental health disorders and substance use disorders can become more severe and aggravate one another. People with co-occurring disorders are at higher risk of being hospitalized, experiencing violence, and experiencing social isolation. They are also at greater risk of suicide.

Some people try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. While this is effective in a temporary sense, it does not address the underlying problem. Medications and behavioral treatments can help people with a co-occurring disorder to overcome these problems. These treatments can also help reduce maladaptive behaviors.

People with a mood or body image disorder, such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), may self-medicate with substances to deal with stress. This can lead to many physical and emotional health problems.

Mental health disorders affect a person's ability to think, feel, and function. These disorders can be classified into several broad categories, including anxiety, depression, psychotic, and eating disorders. The brain areas involved with impulse control, reward, and thinking can be affected by substance use.

Treatment for both

Integrated treatment for addiction and mental health is a good way to achieve the optimal recovery. These programs usually include medications, behavioral therapies, and case management to address the needs of the individual.

Symptoms associated with both disorders are often frightening. They may include thoughts of suicide, heightened anxiety, extreme emotional highs and lows, and sleep difficulties. Some people may even drop activities that were important to them.

A good treatment program should be accredited. It should also have a strong aftercare plan. This is essential to long-term success. During treatment, patients learn how to cope with life's challenges and make positive choices for themselves.

A treatment program may include individual, group, or family counseling. These therapies will teach strategies for coping with life's difficulties and for minimizing the use of drugs.

Behavioral therapies will also help individuals change unproductive thinking patterns and improve their problem-solving skills. These strategies will also help reduce the risk of infectious diseases.

A good treatment program should also have a strong aftercare plan. These plans can include support groups, peer support, and educational groups.

Insurance coverage

Having health insurance can help reduce the cost of treatment for addiction and mental health issues. However, before you get started, be sure to understand the benefits your plan covers and the best way to obtain them. You might need to contact a customer service representative for more details.

Most private health insurance providers offer coverage for behavioral health services and drug rehab. This includes outpatient and partial hospitalization programs. Some insurers will also cover medication assisted treatment or alternative health approaches.

The Affordable Care Act mandated that all health insurers provide coverage for addiction and mental health treatments. It also requires that they provide a clear and concise summary of all their benefits.

You may have to pay a copayment or deductible depending on the plan. You should also check to see if your provider is in-network. If they are, you will be able to access their services at a discounted rate.

Getting the best possible insurance coverage for addiction and mental health is not as difficult as many people believe.

Workforce development challenges

Increasing demand for behavioral health services has led to increasing workforce development challenges for addiction and mental health. These are a result of an aging population, the rapid increase in racial and cultural diversity, and expanded access to behavioral healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

In an effort to address these workforce development challenges, the federal government has taken several actions. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers various workforce development programs. The Health Professions Act houses the National Health Service Corps, which offers scholarships to providers and loan forgiveness programs.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides funding to promote mental health and wellness in the health care workforce. It also aims to reduce burnout. In addition, the funding provides cost relief for licensure and certification.

Other strategies include improving the recruitment and retention of workers. High staff turnover can impair continuity of care, make it difficult to implement evidence-based practices, and limit service delivery by more experienced staff.