Mental Health


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  • Many people with substance use disorders also have another mental illness, and vice versa. There are several potential reasons for a dual diagnosis. Common risk factors, including inherited characteristics, adverse social environments, trauma, and stress, can contribute to both mental illness and substance use problems.
  • People with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many other psychiatric conditions are also more likely to use substances and to develop substance use disorders. People who experience anxiety, stress, depression, or pain may use drugs to try to feel better, especially if mental health care is not accessible.
  • NIDA supports research to better understand the relationship between substance use disorders and other mental illnesses, and how to prevent both outcomes. NIDA also funds research, often working with other partners at the National Institutes of Health, on integrated treatments for substance use disorders in people with mental illness.

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Find More Resources on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

988 Lifeline number
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - 988
  • Read about substance use and mental health on the website of the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • Find mental health support and information resources at
  • Read more about co-occurring disorders from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Interest in joining a research study? Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Answer a few simple questions and get contact information for NIDA clinical trials near you.