July 27, 2021

80% of people with mental disorders have an addiction and vice versa

80% of people with mental disorders have an addiction and vice versa

80% of people suffering from an addiction disorder also have a mental pathology and the same happens in reverse, a situation that is known as dual pathology and that must be treated at the same time to prevent the patient from receiving independent treatments and even contradictory.

This has been stated during the "EFE Health Dialogues: Mental Health and Addictions", where it has also been shown that brains do not work as they want and that all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status, their age or their sex, at birth they already have more or fewer ballots to suffer from addiction, depression, schizophrenia or other mental disorders.

It is the opinion expressed in the meeting organized by the EFE Agency in collaboration with Vithas Nisa Hospitals and held at the Ateneo de València by the psychiatrist Augusto Zafra, responsible for the Mental Health and Hospital Detoxification units at the Vithas Nisa Valencia al Mar hospitals and Living Waters

Gonzalo Haro, who is responsible for the Dual Pathology program of the Provincial Hospital of Castellón, participated with Zafra; José Martínez Raga, vice president of the Spanish Society of Dual Pathology (SEPD), and Pilar Martínez, who is being treated for an addiction to alcohol.

When those people with greater vulnerability see their brain subjected to a stress situation due to certain behaviors or to life events such as breakup of couple, duels of people or infections, they can fall more easily into an addiction and a mental disorder, according to Zafra.

"If we do not treat the addiction and the mental disorder together, the result will not be as good as would be expected and the relapse rate increases a lot," said Zafra, an issue that also coincides with Haro and Martinez Raga because the brain "does not It has watertight compartments. "

For Zafra, dual pathology names a reality that has been observed for years, that a high percentage of people with addictive behavior disorder have psychological disorders and that it is necessary to treat both fronts in an integral and unitary way to be as efficient as possible. in the treatment.

In this way, the person who has an addiction and a mental disorder can achieve the highest degree of functionality possible.

Experts have stressed that where there is no possibility of treating dual pathology, when a person presents some type of addictive disease is treated in a specific circuit and if one mental disorder is detected it goes to another, which leads to a different attendance and uncoordinated.

Martinez Raga stressed that it may happen that the patient "go from one place to another" receiving a "parallel or sequential" treatment, and may occur, for example, that a unit prescribed a drug that is indicated for depression but contraindicated for alcoholism.

On the other hand, Haro has explained that mental disorders have 50% of heritability, but it has been seen that some genetic alterations in one person produce a mental illness, in another that genetic alteration produces an addiction, and in others both together

The three experts also agree that someone who has an addictive disorder is a chronic patient with a persistent disease who will have to take care of himself every day of his life to a greater or lesser degree, that he will have to modify concepts and habits and assume that there are he will not be able to transfer.

This chronicity in the brain implies a vulnerability to relapse but not always being sick, explains Martínez Raga.

Stresses that, for example, a patient with smoking who quit smoking at age 35 can be five, ten or twenty years in abstinence but if exposed again to smoking will relapse very quickly, in a few days, to the amount I was smoking ten or twenty years ago.


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