4 of the Most Common Comorbidities with Addiction

4 of the Most Common Comorbidities with Addiction

Comorbidities and addiction are quite a common pair.

What this means is that you've chosen to self-medicate a co-occurring illness with drugs or alcohol.

When you choose to get sober, these illnesses can stand in your way of achieving a full recovery unless they're also treated at the same time.

Therefore, it's important to know what some of them are.

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Obesity

Among Americans, obesity is quite common so you may not think of this as one of the comorbidities and addictions.

While one of the main reasons for obesity is our foods, genetics also play a role.

Regardless of the root cause of obesity, some people are desperate to lose weight, turning to stimulants (e.g., cocaine, meth, ecstasy).

Obesity causes many health issues, both physical (e.g., impaired breathing, heart strain) and mental (e.g., poor self-image, isolation) alike.

While these things can cause death, stimulants can make this happen faster.

Therefore, these comorbidities and addictions must be taken seriously.

The word addiction on a wooden background

Pain From a Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are debilitating

They can also be very painful.

Therefore, this is quite common with comorbidities and addiction.

While some people can manage taking pain pills without abusing them, others can't.

Many think they can slightly increase the amount they take without issue.

However, this can quickly spiral out of control and result in the abuse of more problematic drugs like heroin, meth, or fentanyl.

Yet another reason comorbidities and addiction must be taken seriously.

Psychiatric Comorbidities

Although comorbidities and addiction exist around physical health, many of them involve mental illness.

This is because there's been such a stigma on seeking therapy that some people will try to self-medicate instead.

Drugs like marijuana, ketamine, delta 8, and alcohol are relatively easy to get.

Abusing these drugs can lead to even bigger issues as you're disrupting the production of important mood-related chemicals in your brain (e.g., dopamine, serotonin).

Depression and Anxiety

Two of the most common comorbidities and addictions are depression and anxiety.

These affect the way you see life and also limit your ability to succeed.

Since some people struggle to find good mental health treatment, they turn to stimulants like cocaine and meth.

This frequently happens when they've been depressed or anxious for a long period.

At this point, the gray matter in their brain has grown to where it's now impeding the neurological pathways.

These are necessary for clear thought. 

Conclusion

When you have comorbidities and addiction, it's important to seek help right away so you don't make the situation worse for yourself.

At Overcomers Counseling, we have addiction specialists available who can provide you with important resources while also teaching you healthy coping mechanisms.

When you're ready, take some time to reach out to us.

We'll be there for you.

Resources 

https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/comorbidity-substance-use-disorders-other-mental-illnesses

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2713155/

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August 18th, 2022

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