Bipolar is a term that’s become more common in recent years, but stereotypes and misunderstandings still abound when it comes to truly understanding this mental health issue. More than 2 million American adults struggle with bipolar disorder every year, making it important to know how to recognize symptoms and identify treatment options, especially when self-medicating and substance abuse issues are involved.

Bipolar Disorder & Substance Abuse

Bipolar disorder and addiction have an alarmingly strong connection:
  • It’s estimated that 56 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder can be dually diagnosed with substance abuse issues as well.
  • The depression part of the cycle often leads into drug or alcohol relapse.
  • Manic episodes of bipolar increase a person’s lifetime risk for addiction to four times that of the general population.
  • Addiction tends to increase an individual’s resistance to lithium, a drug that may be used to treat bipolar disorder.
The complexities of co-occurring disorders are still not universally understood across the medical and mental health professions, and treating bipolar disorder in conjunction with substance abuse is a new approach, but it’s one that has seen great success and that we are very skilled at here at Michael’s House.