Connection Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Addiction

Individuals with mental illness are twice as likely to misuse drugs and alcohol than those without mental illness. The likelihood increases for adolescents with mental illness and for those with borderline personality disorder. This connection between mental illness and addiction highlights the importance of understanding the links between the two. Fortunately, much research has been done in this area. As a result, most addiction treatment programs include treatment for mental health disorders, or co-occurring disorders. At 10 Acre Ranch, we understand how to treat addiction and mental illness together so that you can begin a path toward long-term sobriety. 

Borderline Personality Disorder Explained

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that often results in impulsive actions and problems in relationships.  Individuals with borderline personality disorder often exhibit a pattern of fluctuating moods, self-image, and behavior. Additionally those with BPD experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety. These episodes can last a few hours or several days.  

Those with borderline personality disorder tend to view the world in extremes and these extremes can change quickly. Additional signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder include suicidal thoughts, impulsive behaviors, unstable relationships, fear of abandonment, and chronic feelings of emptiness. As with addiction, researchers believe that genetics, biological, and social factors play a role in the development of borderline personality disorder. 

The Connection Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Addiction

The connection between borderline personality disorder and drug addiction is quite strong. Nearly eighty percent of adults with borderline personality disorder will also develop addiction sometime in their lives. This colliding of the two presents unique challenges. It is not surprising that individuals facing both will likely be more impulsive and less stable. 

Individuals with borderline personality disorder may also suffer from anxiety and post traumatic stress disorders. The combination of these disorders increases the risk for self-medicating with drugs and addiction. Additionally, those with borderline personality disorder may seek to simply fit in with others by using drugs. 

How To Treat Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Addiction

Treating those with borderline personality disorder and drug addiction is more complex. Researchers have found that dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) improved patients’ overall functional level and resulted in more drug-free days. Other therapies continue to be explored for their effectiveness in treating this combination. However, what is known is that early intervention is more successful than later interventions. Because of their impulsivity, those with borderline personality disorder are more likely to relapse and may relapse repeatedly. Researchers have found some success with medications such as naltrexone as a relapse prevention tool when paired with DBT therapy. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) allows for the treatment of both borderline personality disorder and addiction at the same time.  Whatever approach is taken, the key is a clinician who is well-versed in treating borderline personality disorder and drug addiction. 

Benefits of Going To 10 Acre Ranch for Rehab

At 10 Acre Ranch, we’ve been providing Southern California with expert addiction treatment for nearly three decades.  We know how to treat co-occurring mental health disorders and we can put our experience to work for you. Our mission is to rebuild lives, restore families, and improve communities. We are one of the leading rehab facilities in California and offer a wide range of programs that will meet your needs.  Our team are experts in helping people safely detox from drugs and do the work to stop using drugs.  We provide a warm and welcoming environment where we integrate the treatment to heal the whole person. We are committed to helping you break free from active addiction.  Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!  

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