Substance Abuse and Addiction are two major problems in American Society today. Alcohol continued to be one of the leaders as far as abuse as well as an increase in Heroin use. However, the biggest drug problem today is prescription pills. Percocet, Oxycoten, Klonopin, and many other pharmaceutical drugs have become the substance of choice by addicts.

As a former addict, I can totally relate to many of these issues. Addiction can be genetic and this has been studied with alcoholism and other drug addictions. However, the biggest contributing factor to addiction today is sociological factors. Many children grow up in broken homes, dysfunctional family environments, poverty, and many other negative social and economic environments. The economy also plays a major part in addiction today.

Nonetheless, there is one key contributing factor that leads to addiction that is rarely discussed and really overlooked. This aspect is mental illness. Many addicts also suffer from a co-issue which happens to be mental illness. Mental illness can take on many forms such as psychopathic issues, sociopathic issues, and also cognitive behavioral dysfunctions.

There are so many types of mental illness that cause chaos in society today. These can be both anxiety disorders as well as personality disorders. Bi-Polar illness is one of the most common mental illness today. Bi-Polar comes with a “manic” state as well as a “Depressive” state. There are two types of Bi-Polar (Bi-Polar I and Bi-Polar II). They are opposite in nature as one is more of a hypo manic disorder and then the other one is a very depressive mental disorder.

There is also Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder which causes many problems in teens and adults alike. Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder is very serious and can lead to addiction as the victim uses drugs or alcohol to cope with the uneasiness that they struggle with as a result of the Trauma. There is also Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These anxiety problems can lead to worry and self doubt. As mentioned, many people that have some sort of mental illness also struggle with co-addiction.

Anybody following the Jodi Arias case on the news can see that Jodi suffers from some type of serious mental block. The one that most fits her is called Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a group of anxiety disorders that cause many issues including addiction, sexual recklessness, relationship switches and many other impulsive behaviors. Borderline Personality Disorder can be described as a group of unstable emotional states of mind. Many of these people suffer from unstable self worth, feelings of abandonment, idealization and devaluation of others and self, and even suicidal behavior.

Mental Illness is truly stigmatized in today’s society. It is always overlooked when it comes to people that commit violence, that suffer from addiction, and many other violent and sociopathic issues. There needs to be more money put into research and studies for mental illness. There needs to be greater mental illness awareness. In schools, at work, in the news, and in many other aspects of life.

Children that have bad childhood and dysfunctional family environments have a greater chance of suffering some sort of substance abuse problems in time. This is where we must focus. I mean, we give all of this money and federal aid to other countries, but what about our own. What about the Drug Problems. These problems will not go away until mental illness is addressed. Mental Illness should be a major topic in future studies and research.