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National Recovery Month: Everything you need to know about mental disorders and substance use disorder recovery

Silver Hill Hospital

Every year we watch our loved ones battle the negative consequences from mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. These mental and substance abuse disorders unfortunately consume the lives of many individuals in massive numbers globally. As some lose their lives while trying to cope with these disorders, experts at Silver Hill Hospital are continuing to learn how to better combat these issues.

National recovery month was created in order to spread awareness about those who were successful in recovery and to remember those who lost their lives from the negative outcomes of these disorders. We continue to fight by spreading awareness, sharing preventative methods, holistically treating, and celebrating individual successes in order to help people who are suffering find their road to recovery.

There is an awful lot of value to be gained from individuals who reclaimed their lives through long-term recovery. Through their experiences, it helps those still in the throes of addiction to see proof that success can happen to anyone. We highlight the successes of these individuals so that other service providers can use their stories as examples to help educate the public about treatment options such as how they work and why. In order to help the millions of people with mental and substance use disorders, Silver Hill Hospital wants to cover three important messages that will help aide this national movement and awareness: 

  1. Prevention does work
  2. Treatment is effective
  3. People can and do recover

As your service provider, we join forces with the National Recovery Month mission

Everything you need to know about mental disorders and substance use disorder recovery:

Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” 

What you should know about someone with a mental or substance use disorder

Before we explore prevention and recovery options, we first have to look at the whole person in need. Each year SAMHSA continues to collect relevant facts and statistics about mental health and substance use disorders. Listed are facts from studies that summarizes the populations in America affected by these disorders:

  • In 2017 an estimated 30.5 million Americans aged 12 or older currently used illicit drugs
  • Of this number 1 in 4 people aged 12 or older currently binge drank alcohol
  • 7 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year
  • 6 million adults aged 18 or older had any mental illness in the past year
  • In 2017, an estimated 8.5 million U.S. adults 18 or older had co-occurring disorders. Specifically, they reported to have both a mental illness and a substance use disorder
  • In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans died by suicide
  • Suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999
  • Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor.

We cannot reiterate enough the importance of prevention, treatment, and recovery so that we can inform and help everyone along the way. As these facts are regularly updated, it helps us find new ways to take action for those in distress. If someone has a mental disorder or is dealing with substance abuse, it is important to keep looking for the signs and warnings of possible abuse. Since studies prove that disorders can co-occur, knowing these behaviors in advance can help prevent someone from doing harm to themselves or others. Ultimately, if we recognize these early signs, we can help someone get the help they need before it becomes a crises.

Mental Disorders

Mental disorders like depression, anxiety, mood swings or other mental health issues are often linked to thoughts of suicide. Having a mental disorder puts an individual at a higher risk of making an attempt. Recovery can be a bumpy road for many individuals, as these negative thoughts can appear out of nowhere. Normally, a traumatic life event can trigger these thoughts and can derail someone from recovery. Being familiar with these signs are vital. The following signs that can lead someone with a disorder to have thoughts of suicide are:

  • Saying goodbye to loved ones
  • Mood swings (being happy, to sad, to angry)
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Feeling and thinking like you’re a burden
  • Giving away personal items
  • Consuming thoughts of death
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Overwhelming stress
  • Withdrawing from social activities (isolation)
  • Feeling unbearable pain
  • Feeling trapped
  • Planning your way out

Substance use disorder

Alcohol or drug substances like opioids can exacerbate suicidal thoughts and acting on them as well. This we know.  Substance abuse can also affect someone’s physical health. Health related conditions can develop for those who abuse substances like alcohol excessively. It can even affect those around the individual. These top 5 alcohol health related issues are a serious threat to those who abuse alcohol.

  • Injuries (Deformities, drunk driving injuries)
  • Violence (Domestic, self harm, violence to others)
  • Risky sexual behavior (Pregnancy complications from drinking)
  • Organ failures (Developed diseases like liver disease)
  • Memory Loss (Early onset dementia)

If mixed with drugs, there can also be a chance that an overdose can occur. If you see one of these signs your loved one may be experiencing an overdose:

  • Changes in vital signs ( temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure change)
  • Dizziness, confusion, sleepiness and induced coma
  • Changes in skin temperature can be cool and sweaty, or hot and dry
  • Chest pains or shortness of breath (asthma attack can be triggered)
  • Abdominal pains, feeling nauseous, vomiting (blood) and diarrhea can occur

In certain cases, some turn to drugs because they want to cause harm to themselves or attempt suicide. Unfortunately these attempts to cause harm can lead to accidental overdoses which can cause those around them to be constantly concerned for their loved ones well being. Children and adolescents are normally the ones to witness an addiction or overdose in their household. At their age they are still learning how to deal with their emotional and behavioral well being, so any additional trauma can lead them to have a developmental disorder of their own or even a substance use disorder at a young age.

That is why we need to continue to spread awareness about these conditions and how they link to one another. Prevention is possible and understanding that it is something that affects us all and signals to us that we need to take action when we see these issues occuring.


We should not ignore the signs of a mental illness or substance use disorders in someone when we see it. Prevention can guide someone from acting on their disorder. Again we want to prevent harm to oneself and to others affected along the way. Here’s a prevention list for you to remember if you or someone you know starts seeing the signs listed above:


Substance abuse (alcohol and drug use)

  • Follow the directions on the prescription label or from your doctor
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking a prescription and or over the counter drugs
  • Do not suddenly stop taking medication or change the dose without consulting your doctor first
  • Do not take someone else’s prescribed medicine or give yours to others
  • Keep medication locked up from children, adolescents and others in a secure place where they won’t find them
  • If you are the host of a party, remind your guests to plan ahead for driving arrangements
  • Offer non alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinking
  • Do not drink and drive or let others impaired drive !


Mental health Concerns

  • Seeking professional help
  • Taking out stressful factors in your life
  • Avoiding negative people
  • Yoga, exercise and other relaxing activities
  • Finding new hobbies or activities
  • Volunteering
  • Support Groups
  • Clinical Treatment
  • Making your living situation feel safer
  • Stay away from drugs and alcohol
  • Tell yourself not to act on negative impulses
  • Do things which you enjoy
  • Set goals and make a list of what you can work on improving
  • Spend time outside and get a little sunshine
  • Make yourself a plan for when your tendencies are at their worst
  • Spend time with people who are positive

Is treatment for mental and substance abuse disorders effective?

The answer is YES ! There are a lot of treatment options available to help combat mental and substance use disorders. Everyone is different and again we have to properly diagnose and understand the person as a whole before treatment can begin.

“Our warm and caring environment will help you on your way to renewal and connection”

Silver Hill Hospital is your facility to receive treatment for mental health illnesses, alcoholism and substance abuse. We always properly evaluate your condition, make accurate diagnosis, and develop an effective treatment plan that is precise and specific to you. Our facility only uses evidence-based therapies that work and continue to give those in recovery a safe haven to live their lives without relapse. Addiction is manageable and everyone has a chance to recover from it.

Levels of care at Silver Hill Hospital

Mental health disorders and substance use disorders can fall under many different age groups. Our facilities have teams and doctors that can treat all ages for any disorder or any co-occurring disorders. We set goals for our patients by using the following levels of care:

  • Inpatient
    • The most intensive form of care, indicated for a phase of illness that requires a great deal of management.
  • Transitional Living
    • Treatment on an extended basis for patients with stable symptoms who are proceeding with recovery.
  • Intensive Outpatient
    • Patients living at home while continuing treatment and skills development at Silver Hill.

Each level of care has their own goals and outcomes. This trifecta will provide long lasting recovery beyond Silver Hill Hospital. In addition to this, with the help of family therapy it can also serve as an additional support system for those reclaiming their lives. Family therapy is definitely a good system to promote family healing. It facilitates a greater understanding of the disorders and helps improve communication within the family.

What If I relapse? Does that mean treatment failed?

Once someone stops following their medical treatment plan, they are more likely to relapse. Some people may even relapse while they’re on a treatment plan. This is a common question that many individuals wonder about which can cause discouragement towards seeking treatment or continuing treatment. However, know that this is all apart of the process; it does not mean that you failed or that treatment didn’t work. Any thought of abusing a substance or not properly seeking help for a mental issue can cause individuals to fall two steps back. It’s all about getting back on track and adjusting the treatment in order to help counter these thoughts. Remember everyone is different and treatment plans are supposed to be personalized in your direction to your road to recovery.

But… watch out if your loved one does relapse

If you are recovering from substance use disorder, both you and your family need to be aware of the dangers of relapsing after detox. Yes, a detox rids the body from all substances, but it is also a crucial time to monitor and make sure there isn’t a relapse. The thought of relapsing followed by the misuse of a substance can lead to an overdose because the body’s tolerance during this time is no longer used to just any dosage. Always monitor and be there for your loved one as they need you most during this time. Also always remember that for sobriety or a lifelong management plan, there needs to be more guidance and a structured treatment plan needs to be in place to keep an individual sober and prevent them from relapsing. People can and will recover with the proper tools.

Silver Hill Hospital can help you stay in recovery

As we are all not the same, there is always someone out there that can help understand where you’re coming from. We believe that fresh insights lead to fresh outcomes. As Silver Hill Hospital can help with a variety of treatment and prevention knowledge, our intensive outpatient program is one of our specialties that really helps adolescents and adults beyond a stay at our facility. The continued substance use treatment and/or psychological treatment programs gives many the ability to take on the world and to live full, meaningful, and independent lives.

For more information you can start by making an appointment or calling 1 (866) 542-4455 to learn more about our levels of care and treatment for mental and substance use disorders.