The customary division between ‘mental health AND addiction’ is pernicious.

 

 

In practice, people are shuttled between pillar and post as they seek support. Addiction services are structured as separate from mental health services. Perhaps this is a hangover from a questionable attitude to the nature of ‘addiction’. In reality, addiction  is one of the most severe and pervasive mental health disorders in society.

Often, various pre-existing mental disorders can lead to substance and behavioural disorders. Some disorders such as bipolar carry an extremely high risk of association with  addiction. Oftem addiction complicates and worsens  ore-existing health disorders. And often, addiction leads to new health distress, notably depression and severe anxiety.

We discuss the issue in more detail here.  This year Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm held a roundtable event to discuss gambling and mental health. Their report is here. See also our discusion document.

There have been many initiatives in recent decades from health professionals to provide integrated support, and some of these have been very successful and are exemplars of what can be done with necessary vision.