Why do drug use disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses?
As of 2013, CBS News
reported that 70 percent of Americans were on at least one prescription
drug, with over half receiving at least two prescriptions. After
chronic health conditions, the second most-prescribed type of drugs was
antidepressants. Interestingly, a 2004 study
found that patients in privately insured populations who had mental
health claims were also more likely to have received STD diagnoses. In
fact, some researchers are currently estimating that HPV may be behind as many as three quarters of oral malignancies.
The two factors at the start of the chain are prescription drugs and
mental conditions. While establishing causality between the two is
difficult, the National Institute of Drug Abuse suggests three scenarios that deserve consideration:
Drugs of abuse can cause mental illness symptoms.
Mental illness can lead to drug abuse.
drug abuse and mental illness are caused by overlapping factors, such
as underlying brain deficits, genetic vulnerabilities, and/or early
exposure to stress or trauma.
To expand on the third point, between 40 and 60 percent of vulnerability
to addiction can be attributed to genetics. Genetics can influence
whether the drug acts directly (the body's response to the drug) or
indirectly (the drug's influence on other behaviour). It should also be
noted that drugs designed to target dopamine levels (such as those for
depression, schizophrenia, etc.) are also affected by addictive
substances. While drugs for depression target dopamine, serotonin levels are also crucial for depression treatment, yet the drugs used for depression prevent the reuptake of body's own serotonin production.
And those that choose to supplement with commercial melatonin to improve
their sleep quality affected from the medication are no better off,
since a large percentage of the population have allergic reactions such
as nightmares, clenching of the jaw, and muscle spasms to animal-sourced
or unknown synthetic-produced melatonin. This is why it is important to
remember that melatonin is a hormone, and hormones must be USP
pharmaceutical grade, like the Doctor's Choice Melapure® Melatonin; it
works without side effects because environmental toxins are eliminated
when produced under USP standards.
The back and forth between mental disorders and drugs can cause a deadly
cycle. As the National Institute of Drug Abuse article states:
overlap of brain areas involved in both drug use disorders and other
mental illnesses suggests that brain changes stemming from one may
affect the other. For example, drug abuse that precedes the first
symptoms of a mental illness may produce changes in brain structure and
function that kindle an underlying propensity to develop that mental
illness. If the mental disorder develops first, associated changes in
brain activity may increase the vulnerability to abusing substances by
enhancing their positive effects, reducing awareness of their negative
effects, or alleviating the unpleasant effects associated with the
mental disorder or the medication used to treat it.
Considering the almost symbiotic relationship between prescriptions and
mental illness, it is best to avoid prescriptions if at all possible,
and choose non-addictive products. We have several products to help with
anxiety and mental function: SAMe Liquid, Kava, Melapure Melatonin,
L-Tyrosine, L-Tryptophan, GABA, DMAE, and Neurotransmitter Support are
worth investigating if you are seeking a natural alternative to harmful
The importance of iron in one's diet is not advertised widely. However, did you know that iron deficiency is the most common
deficiency in the world (including industrialized countries)? Teens are
especially vulnerable, as their growing bodies need more iron to
accommodate the expansion of blood volume and increased muscle mass.
Within the groups of adolescents, there are subgroups
who are the most vulnerable: those with chronic illness, those who are
malnourished or obese, and females. We want to focus on the last group
for this newsletter.
The highest risk of iron deficiency occurs in females' reproductive years. Menstruation itself is a risk factor,
but heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) increases the risk because every ml
of blood lost translates to 0.5 mg of iron lost. The length of
menstruation is also a factor in iron loss.
Iron deficiency has become such a concern that researchers recently
recommended that all adolescent girls should be tested for iron
deficiency within a few years of starting menses. Although female teens
are normally tested for anemia, iron deficiency can develop years before
anemia, and hemoglobin testing (typically used for anemia) can miss
Because growing teens also eat more during adolescence, there is also a risk of them becoming less discerning
about the healthiness of what they eat. In this case, it becomes even
more important that parents are consistent role models and limit the
quantity of unhealthy food options at home.
If you are concerned about whether your teen is getting adequate iron
intake, we recommend Next Generation B Complex. This high-potency
vitamin B complex supports natural energy, brain health and stress
management. B vitamins are high in iron, and are important for nervous
system. They also help with specific functions, including health of the
liver, heart, eyes, skin, hair, and mucosal linings--particularly in and
around the mouth. B vitamins also influence the muscle tone of the
gastrointestinal tract, which helps bowel function.
Here is the breakdown of vitamins in our B Complex:
over 10 years of experience, Bond Consulting is a leader in the
SR&ED industry. The SR&ED program is designed to support
innovative companies with cash reimbursements from the Canadian
Government due to their private R&D efforts. (www.bondconsulting.ca)