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Do Alcoholic Rehab Centers Treat Mental Health Problems Too?

Chronic and long-term alcoholism takes a tremendous toll on the body and mind. If you’ve struggled with drinking for months or years at a time, you’ve likely experienced the harmful effects of alcohol in your life in one form or another.

Alcoholism can be especially harmful to a person’s mental and emotional health as alcohol’s effects alter the brain’s workings over time. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, some form of mental illness develops within an estimated 40 percent of cases involving alcohol addiction.

Considering how prevalent mental health problems are among heavy drinkers, alcoholic rehab centers have ample experience in treating mental illness during the course of addiction treatment. In effect, helping a person work through mental health issues is critical to a successful recovery process.

If you’re considering alcoholic rehab center treatment and need help finding a treatment program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 888-646-0635Who Answers?.

Alcoholism & Mental Illness

Alcoholic Rehab Centers

Depression and anxiety often co-occur with alcoholism.

While alcoholism and mental illness come with their own separate sets of problems, when combined, these two conditions bring out the very worst in one other. According to the Journal of Alcohol Research & Health, alcohol and psychological dysfunction form a symbiotic relationship in terms of how symptoms of one condition aggravate the symptoms of the other.

Types of mental illness most often associated with alcoholism include:

Alcoholic Rehab Center Treatment Interventions for Co-Occurring Conditions

Integrated Treatment Approach

Alcoholic rehab centers employ an integrated treatment approach when dealing with co-occurring conditions. In effect, these programs treat alcohol addiction and mental illness together or as a single condition rather than as separate disorders.

By using an integrated treatment approach, clinicians can better manage the symptoms of both conditions at the same time; otherwise, the symptoms of one condition will work against any progress made in treating the other condition.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that helps a person address the faulty belief systems and thinking patterns that fuel emotional instability and destructive behavior. According to the Journal of Psychiatric Clinics of North America, alcoholic rehab centers use cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat both addiction and mental illness since both conditions feed off of destructive patterns of thinking and behavior.

Medication-Based Treatments

Alcoholic rehab centers can use medication-based treatments to address more severe forms of addiction and mental illness depending on a person’s treatment needs. Medications commonly used include:

  • Disulfiram – relieves alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Acamprosate – relieves alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Antidepressants – such as Lexapro, Zoloft and Celexa
  • Beta-blockers – reduces panic attack symptoms
  • Mood stabilizers – to balance erratic mood swing states


The longer an alcohol addiction problem goes untreated the more severe the addiction becomes. Likewise, the emotional turmoil that alcoholism breeds only works to intensity the effects of a mental illness. Alcoholic rehab centers specialize in providing the types of treatment that best address the challenges recovering addicts face when mental illness becomes a factor.

Please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 888-646-0635Who Answers? if you need help finding a treatment program or have questions about your health insurance coverage.

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