Bipolar disorder and drug addiction are two very complex conditions that often intersect. This creates the compelling question: “Can drug addiction cause bipolar disorder? This question becomes particularly relevant when trying to understand the relationship between these two conditions can help shape successful treatment strategies and outline recovery paths at professional treatment centers like Capo Canyon. Let’s take a look at whether drug addiction can directly cause bipolar disorder.
The Intersection of Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
Before we try to answer “Can drug addiction cause bipolar disorder” it’s important to fully and clearly understand what each of these conditions is.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by intense cycling of low or depressive moods, with high or “manic” moods. Drug addiction, however, while still a mental disorder, involves a physical and psychological dependency on a substance, despite obvious and often severe negative consequences in the individual’s life.
When these two conditions are encountered simultaneously, the term “bipolar addiction” is often used to describe the simultaneous occurrence of these two conditions. This is a situation where individuals with bipolar disorder also struggle with addiction at the same time.
Drug Addiction and Bipolar Disorder: Cause or Consequence?
First of all, while drug abuse can make the symptoms of bipolar disorder more severe or frequent, it does not directly cause the disorder. Current research suggests that bipolar disorder is more likely caused by genetic and environmental factors. That said, substance abuse can trigger bipolar symptoms in those who already have a strong genetic disposition.
Substance abuse, particularly in the case of powerful stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines, can both mimic and exacerbate the manic episodes of the disorder. Similarly, the comedown from these drugs, or the use of depressants like opioids or alcohol, can resemble or worsen the depressive episodes typical of bipolar.
Bipolar Disorder as a Risk Factor for Addiction
Individuals with bipolar disorder do face a higher risk of developing an active drug addiction, most commonly due to the tendency of those with bipolar to attempt to self-medicate. Self-medication is where individuals use drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms to help deal with the distressing symptoms they encounter with bipolar disorder.
For example, they may use depressants to help manage manic episodes, while using stimulants to help bring them out of deep depressive states. While this may work for a time on a purely functional level, over time this leads to significant dependence on these substances, leading quickly to addiction.
Bipolar Addiction: A Dual Diagnosis
In some cases, an individual may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder while being addicted to one or more substances, or they may be diagnosed with an addiction and have bipolar mental challenges at the same time. This is known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders, and it requires a comprehensive and integrated treatment plan that treats both conditions at the same time.
At Capo Canyon, our experienced team of healthcare professionals understands the intricacies of bipolar addiction and can provide industry-leading care. Our compassionate team of addiction and recovery counselors can help you develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
Overcome Your Challenges With Capo Canyon’s Help
While the question “Can drug addiction cause bipolar disorder” can’t be answered with any definitive specificity, what is clear is that both of these conditions are closely intertwined and deeply connected. Understanding the relationship between drug addiction and bipolar disorder more clearly is crucial for finding effective treatment and successful long-term recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar or drug addiction, help is closer than you think. Reach out to Capo Canyon today to speak with an addiction professional to get started on your individualized treatment plan.