February 26, 2020
Substance abuse is now classified as a mental disorder, and it often co-occurs with some other type of mental illness in what is known as a dual diagnosis. Scientists have discovered that those people who are genetically or environmentally susceptible to one kind of disorder are at increased vulnerability to the other.
This includes your teenager.
Co-occurring disorders create a vicious cycle that is nearly impossible to escape without help. Drs. Scott Harris and Edward Reynolds touched on that point in their book When Growing Up Hurts Too Much, saying:
“If your child is using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, it is an abnormal response to the pressures of adolescent life. The paradox that arises is that using drugs or alcohol may cause your youngster to feel even more worthless…”
And, so it goes – substance abuse fuels mental illness, and mental illness drives substance abuse. A dual diagnosis is very serious, and the conditions invariably worsen over time. If your teenager is struggling with these twin demons, your family needs specialized care and support if they are to recover.
For nearly two decades, Teensavers Treatment Centers have been the most-trusted resource for families touched by problematic behaviors or substance abuse in Orange County, California. If your child is in crisis, Teensavers can help.
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