According to SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, mental health problems and substance use disorders sometimes occur together. This is because:

  • Certain substances can cause people with an addiction to experience one or more symptoms of a mental health problem
  • Mental health problems can sometimes lead to alcohol or drug use, as some people with a mental health problem may misuse these substances as a form of self-medication
  • Mental health and substance use disorders share some underlying causes, including changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma.

Substance Use Disorders


It can be hard to identify a Substance Use Disorder sometimes because people can have a wide degree of functioning and often can hide their alcohol or drug use. Symptoms of substance use disorders may include behavioral changes, such as:

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Appearing fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

Someone with a mental health problem and substance use disorder must treat both issues. Treatment for both mental health problems and substance use disorders may include rehabilitation, medications, support groups, and talk therapy.

Need Help?

  1. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat
  2. To learn how to get support for mental health, drug, and alcohol issues, visit
  3. To locate treatment facilities or providers, visit or call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). 2024 Mental Health Awareness Month Toolkit | SAMHSA

STEP 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.