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The Correlation Between Mental Illness And Substance Abuse In Rhode Island

Jul 24, 2008
If you check out the health website of the state of Rhode Island, you will find that there is a very strong correlation between substance abuse and mental illnesses. In fact, substance abuse in Rhode Island is considered to be nothing more or less than a psychiatric problem and as you read further on their health website, you will find that even the treatment program chalked out for it is in accordance with this belief. Treatment for substance abuse in Rhode Island is of a similar form and manner as it should be for some kind of mental illness. So, how far is this consideration valid?

Is Substance Abuse a Mental Illness?

For this, we need to analyze the way the body works when a person starts using a substance for recreational purposes. This is how most of them work:-

When a person consumes the substance, the substance will send triggers to the nervous system of the body, which will then increase the secretion of some chemicals that are important for the feeling of happiness that the body experiences, most notably dopamine. The main draw during the initial abuse of the substance is this production of dopamine. The person is consuming the substance actually to condition the mind to release dopamine so that that feeling of pleasure can be experienced.

Now, as the person begins consuming more and more of the substance, the mental system of the person gets immunized and does not secrete as much dopamine as it did in the earlier instances. Consequently, the person begins stepping up the dosage of the substance. This is the beginning of the unbroken cycle of addiction; the person consumes a drug to make the mind happy, but the mind is dissatisfied with that particular amount and asks more of it.

If you consider this now, you will find that the urge for consuming the substance occurs right in the brain of the person. Though the person is physically consuming the substance, the part of the body that is asking for it is the brain and the nervous system. Hence, it does seem quite logical to pair substance abuse with mental illnesses.

So how is the Treatment for Substance Abuse in Rhode Island carried out on These Lines?

If substance abuse in Rhode Island is considered as a mental illness, it is quite understandable that the treatment will be done in a similar fashion too. That is indeed the case and it is quite a helpful one at that, considering that it becomes more effective at the overall treatment. Consider the following points:-

1. The detox program, though very prominently present and used for most kinds of addiction in Rhode Island, is not the end of the treatment program. In fact, if you check out the patterns on substance abuse treatment in Rhode Island, you will find that detox is merely the beginning of the entire treatment program. While the detox aims at cleansing the body of the person from the accumulation of the substances in it, it is the later part of the treatment program that is the most relevant part. This is the part where the person is taken into a counseling therapy. The counseling is targeted at helping the person come out of the tendency of using the substance. This is definitely a method of treating the mind rather than the body.

2. If you were to check out the various therapies that are taught during the relapse prevention program in any rehab center in Rhode Island, you will see that there is definitely a focus on treating the mind. People are taught meditation and relaxation exercises to free their mind from the shackles of the addiction. In fact, in a residential treatment center in Rhode Island, you will find that the major bulk of the program consists of treating the patients in this manner.

3. There is actually a program that deals with treating the body and the mind together during substance abuse treatment in Rhode Island. This is the dual diagnosis program. Basically speaking, the dual diagnosis treatment program is meant for the treatment of coexisting conditions, but in the realm of substance abuse treatment in Rhode Island, it is mostly applies to the treatment of mental illnesses that occur along with substance abuse (which incidentally is also a mental illness). Here, the patient will be provided psychiatric counseling and the treatment for both conditions will be done on an almost simultaneous footing. This is a clear example of how substance abuse is considered to be a mental illness in the state treatment program in Rhode Island.
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