When two disorders or illnesses occur simultaneously in the same person they are called comorbid. This is often the case with mental health and drug abuse. This is sometimes referred to as “dual diagnosis”.
Six out of ten people with a substance use disorder also suffer from a form of mental illness.
This could be because:
1. Drug abuse can result in a mental illness.
2. Mental illness can lead somebody to use drugs.
3. Drug abuse and mental disorders may both be a result of other common risk factors.
One of the biggest problems associated with drugs is caused through sharing equipment. Those who take drugs intravenously and use a shared needle risk illnesses such as HIV and AIDS and Hepatitis C.
The drug itself does not cause these illnesses but rather the transfer of infected blood or bodily fluids. Although there are widespread needle exchange services introduced to reduce the spread of such infections some users still resort to using other people’s needles and equipment as their desire to use outweighs the risks. Repeated injections can lead to veins collapsing, abscesses, ulcers and a range of other infections and complications that can lead to amputation and even death.