5+ Year Member
- Oct 22, 2014
"Alcohol...the cause of--and solution to--all of life's problems"My patients who have serious mental health conditions get worse when they use substances and it is my recollection that this is supported in the literature. I also recall that for co-occurring disorders, treating both disorders predicts better outcomes. Patients also tend to report that they use substances to deal with symptoms, but that often seems like a justification to continue use despite negative consequences. My concern about the thinking about self-medication (referring more broadly to what I see in clinical practice as opposed to research on the SMH) is that it feeds into a problem of the disorder that we are trying to treat and that it reflects a type of fuzzy logic regarding the above mentioned findings. The danger with fuzzy logic when dealing with substance use is that those tend to be the types of patients most likely to drive a hole through the logic to their own detriment. I find it vital to be solidly grounded when working with people with substance abuse.