Mental health is unique to each individual and must be treated as such. No two people are exactly alike, so no single approach will work for everyone struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  There is no shame in admitting that you need help and seeking treatment.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, so finding the treatment that works best for you is essential. There are many resources available, and recovery is possible from both mental health strains and addictions that act as a co-occurring disorder.  

Addiction occurs when repeated use of drugs changes the way a person’s brain responds to pleasure. It essentially develops when the urge to take drugs or alcohol takes over part of the brain responsible for rewarding behavior and benefits the body. Substance use can also affect the brain area responsible for decision-making and emotions. 

Drug addiction is often thought of as a physical problem. We see the external signs – track marks, scabs, and bruises on people who use drugs intravenously. The focus on these physical problems means that we too easily overlook the mental health effects of drug addiction. Addiction can cause serious mental health problems like depression, anxiety, paranoia, and much more. 

Alta Loma, a Transformational Service for men, near Austin, TX, knows the impact of addiction on mental health is detrimental because we see it everyday.  Read on to learn about addiction treatment programs, how addiction affects your mental health, the dangers of self medicating and why Alta Loma should be your choice to find solace with your mental wellbeing tied to addiction.

Alta Loma is here for you! 

If you or a loved one is suffering with mental health effects caused by addiction to drugs and alcohol…

Addiction Treatment Programs

As established so far, substance addiction has far-reaching effects on mental health. The effects also extend to physical complications and can create financial problems. Addiction in itself is a mental health issue that directly and indirectly correlates with other mental health problems.

Effective treatment, at a facility like Alta Loma, is necessary to mitigate alcohol and drug addiction, manage mental health disorders and restore your overall health. However, delivering appropriate care to a health problem linked to addiction can be challenging. 

At Alta Loma, we offer various treatment programs for individuals taking drugs and experiencing mental health challenges.

We offer the following programs, tailored to your needs: 

Primary Program for Mental Health & Addiction 

Mental health and substance use disorders can be incredibly debilitating, often resulting in a downward spiral that is difficult to break. For many people, supportive housing with PHP programming is the key to achieving long-term recovery.

At Alta Loma, we understand the importance of supporting individuals as they work to overcome these challenges. Our Primary Mental Health program at The Ranch provides a transformational experience that focuses on individuals with chronic mental health concerns and co-occurring disorders. Our approach has proven successful time and again, with many residents going on to lead happy, healthy lives. 

Extended Care for Mental Health & Addiction

Integrated care is a bedrock in treatment for psychiatric concerns where other options presented a not-so-positive outcome.  

One of our facilities, The Ville, provides a safe place for people to live while they work on their mental issues and themselves in a structured Intensive Outpatient Program. We know how difficult it can be when you’re just starting your life again, so here at The Villa our goal has always been simple: give individuals an opportunity that isn’t offered anywhere else-the chance put everything into perspective and build up those skills needed in order reintegrate back into society as more independent living becomes possible!

Supportive Living for Mental Health & Addiction

Once the PHP and IOP are complete, we take our clients through an intensive outpatient program at a level that’s least restrictive. This helps clients solidify their growth in the recovery they’ve already experienced.

Recovery from mental illness takes patience, and it doesn’t happen overnight. While some treatment programs focus on getting patients in and out of the building as quickly as possible, Alta Loma sees things differently by offering supportive living residential care options, at our residence named The Cottage, for people who need help managing their condition or dealing with life’s challenges before community reintegration.  

Interested to learn more about Alta Loma’s programs?

Designed specifically for men in need of mental health support, our programs are vast with treatment options…

How Addiction Affects Your Mental Health

COVID-19 and Addiction

The uncertainty and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased demand for mental health services. From professionals in the medical space to parents coping with additional responsibilities, life over the past few years was leaps and bounds different from the norm. Depression and anxiety weren’t the only mental health disorders people faced during the crisis. Drug use, leading to substance use disorders, was rampant.

At least 13% of Americans cited starting or increasing the use of drugs to cope with the stress related to the disease and its effects. The 18% increase in nationwide overdoses indicated addiction was a significant concern over the previous year. As a result, Americans abusing drugs were at an increased risk of developing COVID-19 and experiencing worse outcomes.

The pandemic created a widespread feeling of fear across the world and affected more than people with existing drug problems. A great number of people turned to alcohol, stimulants and other drugs for relief. Substance use was seen as the best way to cope with the stress and the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Addiction and Mental Health Problems

At Alta Loma, we have seen many people start using substances, including recreational drugs, to respond to specific events such as job loss, trauma or relationship breakup or to reduce the intensity of unpleasant emotions. For instance, people use alcohol to make themselves feel better.

Alcohol and drugs are never the solutions! They create a temporary surge of hormones and chemicals known as serotonin and dopamine, altering the reward circuit and making people feel momentarily happier until the surge is gone.

When this happens, such users experience a “crash,” leaving them in a worse state than they were before substance use. Many will begin using the substance again, creating a continuous cycle of substance abuse problems.

As such, people who abuse alcohol or drugs experience:

  • Mood dysregulation: Substance addiction and emotional dysregulation are two intertwined mental health problems. Excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs over time leads to the brain being unable to produce enough serotonin on its own. As such, people with drug use problems are at risk of significant mood dysregulation.
  • Depression and anxiety: Drugs may make people feel less anxious and depressed by improving confidence and reducing feelings of inadequacy. However, since substance abuse can cause permanent changes to the brain in the long run, depression and anxiety disorders often return worse than before when the body runs out of drugs.
  • Bipolar disorder: This is a mental health problem characterized by extreme mood swings and shifts in energy and level of activity. People suffering from this condition may not realize they have it and try to self-medicate with drugs to suppress it. Substance misuse has the same effects on this particular disorder as it does on depression and anxiety.
Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

The short-term effects of addiction on mental health can vary depending on several factors, including when one starts to drink, existing mental health problems, type of drugs and frequency of use, bodily makeup and family history of substance abuse. The short-term effects may include mild cognitive and physical impairment because of the immediate effect of substances on the brain. However, heavy drug abuse can result in seizures, vomiting, confusion, slow heart rate or death.

Continuous substance abuse can create long-term health complications. The long-term effects of excessively using alcohol, cocaine or other drugs can result in physical and mental complications. For instance, the heart, liver, immune system and digestive system can develop chronic conditions, including cancer. Mental health effects are also an adverse long-term outcome of a prolonged drug or alcohol problem, including symptoms of mental health problems.

Has Addiction Affected Your Mental Health?!

Don’t be afraid to face your inner demons. 

Dangers of Self-Medicating

In some cases, people experiencing mental health issues or substance abuse may be tempted to self-medicate to get themselves out of their situation. Self-medicating, which often involves using substances when new symptoms of mental health illnesses emerge, can carry numerous risks. 

Some of these risks include dangerous drug interaction, incorrect self-diagnosis, masking severe disease, risk of dependence, adverse reactions, worsening condition and delays in seeking appropriate medical service.

Why Alta Loma for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment?

Alta Loma is an independent and reputable mental health services and addiction treatment center specializing in alcohol and drug addiction and the causes they have on your mental health. We’re strategically located in Georgetown, only a half-hour from downtown Austin.  Our facility mimics a real-world environment, which is ideal for overcoming stressors to mental health issues. Our programs also offer peer support or support groups to help you build relationships with your peers. All these advantages come at an affordable rate.

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us today or call 866-457-3843 to begin your recovery journey.