Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction

The vast majority of those who struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction initially begin using to self-medicate undiagnosed psychological disorders. In most cases, disorders are caught early on in sobriety, and treated before symptoms become intolerable or drive addicts back to using. Depression and anxiety tend to be the most common amongst addicts and alcoholics, and with the proper professional treatment can be easily remedied. However this is one of the main reasons why it is crucial that those who have been battling long-term addiction and decide to get sober attend a detoxification clinic in addition to an inpatient drug rehab. While withdrawal symptoms may mask symptoms of depression and anxiety in detox, such disorders should be easily diagnosable after several weeks in a residential program being monitored weekly by the same therapist and psychiatrist.

Depression and Addiction

As far as addiction and depression goes, we have a bit of a chicken and egg situation. It has been recently proven that excessive drinking worsens depression, seeing as alcohol itself is a depressant. Alcohol triggers depressive symptoms such as lethargy, hopelessness, and extreme sadness. Depression and substance abuse tend to feed into one another, with one usually worsening the other. One in three adults who suffer from substance abuse will be dual diagnosed with depression. This is an especially combination, for those with severe depressive tendencies and substance abuse issues are far more likely to attempt suicide. Committing to a specialized treatment program will not only greatly help reduce the risk of devastating effects caused by a combination of alcoholism or drug addiction and depression, but will help you to finally create the joyous and fulfilled life you deserve.

Anxiety and Addiction

When self-treating with drugs and alcohol, the sufferer of anxiety will experience temporary relief. However, prolonged use will lead to long-term damage to the mechanisms (brain receptors) that help to relieve symptoms of anxiety, and the disorder will ultimately worsen as substance dependency progresses. When one suffering from anxiety decides to get sober, the onset of symptoms is likely to be overwhelming. An individual predisposed to anxiety may experience panic attacks, nervousness, and an overall interference with his or her recovery goals. It is important that one who has shown signs of anxiety detoxes in a monitored environment, and those who have any coexisting disorders attend a residential inpatient treatment facility to be closely supervised by medical professionals throughout the very beginning stages of sobriety.

The Baker Act

The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, what has become more commonly known as ‘The Baker Act’, is intended to allow the involuntary institutionalization of an individual who is suffering from a psychological condition and may not be mentally capable of admitting him or herself. Sometimes examining an individual is crucial and time sensitive, and this act allows a judge, law enforcement official, mental health professional, or physician to request an individual be involuntary examined in a timely manner. One might be a target of the Baker Act if they potentially suffer from serious mental illness or if they may pose harm to themselves, harm to others, or are self-neglectful. Once an individual is committed, the examination may last up to 72 hours even after he or she is deemed mentally stable.

What is the Baker Act?

Once an individual has been committed, there are several possible outcomes. If a person is competent, they may commit to treatment voluntarily. They may be deemed stable and released back into the community, or if proven a danger, there may be petitions to involuntary commit them to inpatient treatment. Involuntary outpatient treatment is also an option – an amendment that was made to the act in 2005. Florida is the only state with the Baker Act, and it is prevalently used throughout the states to commit drug addicts and alcoholics who are not mentally coherent and capable of taking care of themselves. Because the recovery scene is booming in Southern Florida particularly, this region has seen a great increase in Baker Act attempts over the course of the past several years. Although it is more common for addicts and alcoholics to be involuntarily committed as a result of the Marchman Act (which places an individual battling substance abuse in residential treatment), the Baker Act is also frequently employed based on its immediacy and the fact that many addicts and alcoholics are severely mentally unstable and dangerous while under the influence.

Why is the Baker Act Important?

The term has been transformed into a verb, used commonly in reference to individuals who may be mentally unstable and in need of urgent medical and psychological care. “Baker Acted” has quickly become a household term, despite the fact that many use it without a comprehensive knowledge of its meaning. The Baker Act is an important part of the mental health industry, and has undeniably saved innumerable lives since it was first implemented.