Mental Health and Substance Misuse





A person struggling with their mental health can sometimes turn to abusing certain substances to help them cope.

Whether they’re battling with prolonged pain that leads to a dependency on prescription drugs, or they’ve been through a traumatic life experience that has led them to drink heavily, there are all kinds of reasons why a person might start misusing alcohol or drugs.

Although drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs might feel like the right decision when you’re struggling with mental health, many substances can make the situation worse. Furthermore, certain substances can contribute to a person developing a mental health problem when they may not have had one before.

Every person’s body responds to drugs differently, and there are many factors that contribute to your experience of using drugs (including alcohol), such as where you are when you take them, how much you consume and your mental state at the time.

Whatever a person’s reasons for taking drugs or drinking alcohol to excess, the fact remains that a dependence on drugs or alcohol can negatively impact a person’s day-to-day life in many ways.

This includes everything from creating financial issues and debt to the impact on personal relationships, all of which can make a mental health condition even worse.

It’s important to remember that just because you suspect a person is abusing alcohol or drugs, it does not necessarily mean that they are. Some of the signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse can also indicate that they may be struggling with their mental health or another underlying medical condition.

Whatever the real cause, if you have suspicions that an employee or colleague may be struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to approach any conversation from a position of concern and closely follow your organisation’s Drug and Alcohol Policy. Avoid being accusatory or judgemental.

Racoo Screening works with organisations of all sizes to help implement effective workplace drug and alcohol testing policies that comply with national and, where relevant, international regulations. We also offer a complete drug and alcohol testing service, e-learning packages, and staff training. To find out more, contact us here.

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