Dr. Jack Stein speaking: So, we’ve got a question from Kalila from Saint Francis High School in Minnesota. Let’s hear her question. [
Kalila W. speaking: What is the relationship with mental health and chemical dependency?
Dr. Jack Stein speaking: OK, thank you for that question Kalila.
In order to answer it, we’ve brought in Dr. Susan, who’s with the National Institute of Mental Health.
And, thank you for being here, Dr. Susan.
Dr. Susan Borja speaking: Thanks. That’s a great question.
I think that, what we know from science is that people that experience mental illness are more likely to also abuse drugs and alcohol.
And unfortunately, people that abuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to experience mental illness the longer that they use.
There’s help for that though, for both conditions. Whether it’s substance abuse, alcohol, or mental health problems, there’s treatments that are available.
And, if you treat one, you’re less likely to develop the problems of the other one. And if you’re experiencing both already, treating both is the best option.
Dr. Jack Stein speaking: So, that’s really a key message here, is that they can happen together, and treating them together is important.
Dr. Susan Borja speaking: Absolutely.
Dr. Jack Stein speaking: Question for teens who may be experiencing some problems with either mental health and/or drug abuse, where is the first place to turn? Where do you--what do you do?
Dr. Susan Borja speaking: Teens have lots of resources, starting with their parents or a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, any of those trusted adults, you could help--you could talk to--that might be able to help get you the resources that you need to have a long, healthy, productive life.