Some people have a genetic pre-disposition towards substance dependency and this makes it difficult for them to moderate their consumption of alcohol or leads them to become dependent on illicit drugs.

A common journey into alcohol and drug dependency is via mental health issue, most commonly anxiety and depression. Alcohol and drug use may have been your attempt to alleviate feelings of anxiety, perhaps in social settings or to ‘help’ lift feelings of depression.

Alcohol and drugs however are short term palliatives – they have feel good impact at the time but once this wears off the feelings you’ve tried to escape from return with greater force. This in turn leads to greater consumption in order to realise the same relief or to extend the period of the ‘benefit.’

So, how and where do you break this cycle of mental illness and drug or alcohol addiction?

Perhaps a good place to start is by talking with one of our advocates and peer support workers – they have their own journey with mental health issues combined with drug or alcohol addiction. Nothing you can tell them will surprise them, however from their hard won personal experience they can offer you quality support if you want to start making changes.