Can Drugs Cause Bipolar Disorder?
Dual diagnosis bipolar and depression

Can Drugs Cause Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme changes in mood and energy levels. It can be a debilitating condition, causing those with the disorder to experience severe bouts of depression, as well as intense periods of mania or hypomania. Recent studies have found that certain drugs and medications may trigger manic episodes in people who are already at risk of developing bipolar disorder. Substance use can also worsen the symptoms of those who have this condition.

It’s not always easy to tell which type of bipolar disorder someone has, especially when considering that bipolar disorder can be caused or worsened by drug or alcohol use. If you are struggling to control the symptoms of bipolar disorder and addiction, receive dual-diagnosis treatment at our luxury rehab center in San Diego.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

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Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Depressive and manic episodes may last for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Those who struggle with bipolar disorder have difficulty with school, relationships, and work.

People with bipolar disorder are more at risk of using substances as a coping mechanism. This can cause severe health problems and worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one may be struggling with bipolar disorder and substance use, learn about our bipolar dual-diagnosis treatment options.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be confused with other mental illnesses, so it is crucial to understand the signs and symptoms. Bipolar disorder causes severe mood changes that range from depressive lows to manic highs.

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mood, appetite, and sleeping patterns
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Loss of interest
  • An impending sense of doom
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Social isolation

Manic symptoms include:

  • High energy
  • Elevated mood
  • High self-confidence
  • Excessive talking
  • Loss of sleep
  • Irritable
Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder

The origins of bipolar disorder are still unknown, but certain factors can lead to the development of this mental illness.

  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Extended periods of high stress
  • Drug or alcohol misuse

What is The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction?

Bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk for substance misuse. People who are bipolar may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their symptoms. Drug or alcohol misuse can worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder, causing more extreme mood swings and episodes of mania or depression. This cycle can lead to addiction.

What Drugs Can Trigger Bipolar Disorder?

Certain substances can cause people to experience the same symptoms as bipolar disorder. Depending on the person and level of tolerance, the effects of certain drugs can create mind-altering effects.

Drugs and alcohol can be a trigger for bipolar disorder. Studies have found that some drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can cause manic episodes in people at risk of this mood disorder. Substances that induce symptoms of mood disorders include

  • Alcohol
  • Hallucinogenics, such as LSD, PCP, and psychedelic mushrooms
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Decongestants

It is important to note that drug use does not cause bipolar disorder, but it can trigger manic or depressive episodes in people with the condition. If you are struggling with bipolar disorder and have a history of substance misuse, seek help from a qualified mental health professional. They can provide personalized treatment plans that address both conditions. At our rehab facility you can recieve addiction treatment in California for these substance use disorders.

By seeking help, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and find healthier coping strategies without relying on drugs or alcohol.

Diagnosis of Drug-Induced Bipolar Disorder

There is no one test to diagnose drug-induced bipolar disorder, so it is important that a doctor assesses the patient’s medical history and current symptoms. The doctor may also perform mental health screenings or order lab tests if they suspect substance use. Once a diagnosis has been made, the doctor can determine an appropriate treatment plan.

How Do Drugs Affect People With Bipolar Disorder?

For people with bipolar disorder, the effects of drugs can be more severe than those who do not have a mental illness. Drugs used to treat bipolar disorder can cause dangerous side effects when combined with other medications. When someone with bipolar disorder uses substances, it can cause an extreme shift in mood and bring on episodes of depression or mania that last for days or weeks.

Drugs and alcohol can also interfere with medications that are prescribed to treat bipolar disorder. When you misuse substances, it affects how the body metabolizes medication and renders them ineffective. This could leave those struggling with bipolar without any relief from their symptoms.

It is important to be aware of the effects certain drugs can have on people with bipolar disorder. The intensity of the manic or depressive episode may increase when a person misuses drugs. If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, utilize healthy coping mechanisms instead of turning to drugs and alcohol.

Healthy Ways to Cope With Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder can be difficult, but there are ways to manage the condition without relying on drugs or alcohol. Here are some tips for managing bipolar disorder:

  • Establish a daily routine – Manic states can cause disruption, so it is important to stick to a schedule and create regular habits.
  • Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness activities, such as yoga or meditation, can help to reduce stress and keep bipolar disorder symptoms in check.
  • Monitor your moods – Keep track of changes in mood so that any signs of depression or mania can be caught early on.
  • Get regular exercise – Exercise can help improve mood and promote healthy sleep habits.
  • Seek professional advice – If you feel overwhelmed or unable to manage your condition, seek professional help.
  • Reach out for support – Having a strong support system can make it easier to cope with bipolar disorder. Friends and family can provide valuable emotional support.

A person who has bipolar disorder should not take any drug unless a doctor prescribes it. It is critical to seek professional help if a person is experiencing severe symptoms of bipolar disorder or misusing drugs.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

dual diagnosis therapy

Treating bipolar disorder and substance use disorder is an intensive process, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With proper support and treatment, individuals can learn how to manage their symptoms and achieve sobriety. Treatment for bipolar dual diagnosis requires a multi-step approach specific to the needs of each individual.

Healthcare professionals work together to provide intensive treatment designed to ease the recovery process and prevent relapse. By addressing both bipolar disorder and substance use disorder, we can help people achieve long-term recovery. Some of the major components of bipolar dual diagnosis treatment include

Medication Management

Medication management is a key component of bipolar dual diagnosis treatment. A psychiatrist will work with the patient to find the right medication and monitor any side effects. This helps to reduce the risk of relapse and ensures that the patient’s symptoms are adequately managed.


Psychotherapy is used to help the client understand their condition, build better coping skills, and learn how to manage triggers. Psychotherapy works best when it is a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and family counseling. Psychotherapy is effective in treating bipolar dual diagnosis because it helps clients

  • Create healthy habits
  • Manage stress
  • Develop coping mechanisms
  • Address underlying issues
  • Improve self-confidence

Education about bipolar disorder and substance use disorder helps clients become more aware of their symptoms and triggers. It also helps them understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed and how to recognize relapse warning signs.

Support Groups

Support groups are a great way for clients to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. These groups provide a safe and judgment-free space to share experiences, exchange advice, and practice coping skills. These support systems also help motivate members to stay on the path of recovery.

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet are also important for recovery. Exercise can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and boost energy levels. Eating healthy foods helps regulate moods and provides the body with nutrients it needs to stay strong.

If you struggle with both bipolar disorder and substance use, it is important to reach out for help. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs focus on addressing both mental illness and addiction simultaneously. Through therapy, medications, and interventions, individuals can learn how to manage bipolar disorder without relying on drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Dual Diagnosis Program at AToN

At AToN Center, we understand the complexity of bipolar disorder and substance use disorder. Our dual-diagnosis treatment program helps individuals find the path to long-term recovery. Our team of experienced professionals works with each individual to create a custom plan that meets their unique needs.

Our goal is to help individuals become healthier, happier versions of themselves while they receive life-changing treatment. We strive to create a safe and comfortable environment that encourages recovery.

If you or someone you know is suffering from both bipolar disorder and substance use disorder, please contact us today for help. We are here to listen and provide the support you need. Together, we can find a path to long-term recovery.

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