The Men’s Comprehensive Guide to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Addiction Treatment

by | Feb 5, 2023

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Of the many services that Impact Outpatient Program offers, we are proud to provide support in relation to mental health and substance abuse addiction. Sometimes considered two separate terms, mental health problems and substance abuse can be linked, which is commonly known as a co-occurring disorder and will result in a dual diagnosis

Here, we’ll show you what the links are between mental health and substance abuse in men, and how we go about treating this dual diagnosis.

How is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Linked?

More than one in four adults with a substance abuse problem can also have mental health problems like personality disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. There are reasons people may use drugs and alcohol; some people would use them as a self-medication method. 

Many drug rehab and alcohol treatment centers understand the link between the two, as drugs and alcohol can provide a masking device for the symptoms of mental illness, but drugs and alcohol can also make the symptoms of mental illness worse. 

In addition, some drugs make it more likely that you could have a mental illness, therefore, making it harder to treat. This is why drug treatments and alcohol rehab centers provide a holistic approach to giving individuals the support they need. 

Are Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues Different in Men?

Men are three times more likely to use all types of illicit drugs, and as this can exacerbate mental health concerns, coupled with the differences between men and women in terms of presenting signs and symptoms of mental illness, it’s essential that the sources are treated, not just the symptoms. 

Men tend to present one or more of the following signs and symptoms of mental health concerns: 

  • Obsessive thinking. 
  • Difficulties sleeping. 
  • Increased risk-taking. 
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Anger, irritability, and aggression. 

Mental health symptoms can be different in men to women, and partly this can be attributed to some of the following: 

  • Different hormonal changes, for example, an increased level of testosterone in men. 
  • Using coping mechanisms, for example, alcohol, drugs, or risk-taking behaviors such as gambling to mask their emotions and feelings, and to not share their innermost thoughts. 
  • The expectations of society, for example, the concept of masculinity, especially in males over the age of 35. Masculinity, and specifically, toxic masculinity, is still prevalent in society, which can be exacerbated by social media. 
  • Pressures and stresses, as the man in a family unit, may view themselves as “the breadwinner.” This can go back to the concept of masculinity and expectations to adhere to specific societal norms. This overwhelming pressure can create many internal conflicts, as well as employment or financial pressures. 

Male-oriented attitudes can be more competitive in nature and may feel that they want to be in control, or appear strong, meaning they are less likely to be vulnerable and share their concerns. Fewer men than women are diagnosed with a mental health concern, and as men are more likely to be involved in alcohol or substance misuse, this can be why both are coupled together. 

Men are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Untreated mental health issues can lead to health problems, difficulties in relationships, as well as various other challenges in life, which is why the right treatment is pivotal.

How is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Addiction Treated?

There are a number of treatments many addiction treatment centers provide. At Impact Outpatient Program, we provide a comprehensive collection of services to help in terms of drug treatment, alcohol treatment, as well as mental health concerns, including the following:

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Methods

Intensive outpatient treatment programs are recommended for individuals who have completed their inpatient addiction treatments or people who have addictions that are considered mild to moderate. Intensive outpatient programs use a number of different approaches to therapy to help an individual meet their recovery goals, including the following: 

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), helps people to change their behaviors and thinking patterns when faced with any mental health issues. 
  • Psychodynamic treatments, helps patients resolve their issues by understanding their emotions and thoughts. 
  • Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented communication style designed to strengthen personal motivation and commitment to a goal by exploring the individual’s reasons for a change in a supportive environment. 

Intensive outpatient programs provide more flexibility in comparison to inpatient programs. This approach is at the forefront of our drug and alcohol rehab programming.


Telemedicine for addiction treatment has undergone major changes in recent years, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using telemedicine to help people in their mental health and substance abuse addiction treatment can accomplish the following: 

  • Assessments to determine the appropriate care.
  • Case management appointments to access community support. 
  • Therapy appointments to reduce mental health or substance abuse concerns and prevent relapse. 

Telehealth services are used for almost all aspects of addiction and substance abuse. Drug rehab and alcohol treatment services conducted via telehealth practices include the following: 

  • Telephone-based recovery support. Support groups can attend meetings via the telephone or the internet instead of in person, which can encourage people in recovery. 
  • Computerized assessments. Drug rehab and alcohol rehab staff can perform evaluations over the internet, as well as patients completing online surveys to help professionals ascertain the best type of care the individual needs.
  • Recovery support
  • Therapy. Through counseling and other person-centered practices, sessions with a professional therapist can identify and resolve deep-rooted psychological issues that have manifested and may help the patient uncover the root cause of their mental health problem and/or substance abuse. 

Telemedicine provides a great number of benefits, including the following:

  • Convenience, which can make it easier for people to attend meetings. 
  • Reduced costs, especially in relation to transportation and accommodation. 
  • Availability, which can help people who live in rural settings. 
  • Flexibility is where people need more flexibility in their lives due to their working patterns and other commitments.

Multiple Pathways Treatment

The approach to drug treatments, alcohol treatments, or any form of mental health concern may not be a linear path. As addiction can affect so many aspects of an individual’s life, it is essential that treatment focuses on the individual and should address every aspect of the person. There are many pathways to recovery, and the key ones include: 

  • 12-step recovery. The 12-step program first appeared in 1939 in Alcoholics Anonymous, with a variety of different 12-step groups, including Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. 
  • Medication. Medication administered during drug or alcohol treatment will vary depending on the individual and if a patient is given a dual diagnosis for a co-occurring disorder, medication may be administered by a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. 
  • Support groups. 12-step programs also encompass support groups that encourage continued sobriety and a supportive environment to share experiences to reflect, provide solutions, and offer insights into how to make the most of life without substances like drugs or alcohol. 
  • Psychiatry. Psychotherapy or psychiatry can combine a number of treatment elements, including detoxification, medications, and behavioral therapies. 
  • Behavioral therapies. Different types of therapies, such as motivational interviewing, contingency management, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, are all designed to help individuals reduce the impact of stressful situations that may trigger a relapse, while also understanding the underlying reasons for their addiction and/or mental health concerns. 

At the Impact Outpatient Program, we provide a number of multiple-pathway treatments and do so in a holistic manner that is always focused on the patient first and foremost.

Why It Is Time for Help

Impact Outpatient Program is a one-of-a-kind outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center that offers a path to lasting, sustainable recovery. 

Being admitted for treatment is understandably an overwhelming experience, and as many males find themselves experiencing signs and symptoms of mental health concerns that can be coupled with substance abuse, this is a combination that needs to be treated as soon as possible. 

As men are less likely to seek support for their addictions or mental health concerns, and men are twice as likely to binge drink or consume substances, the impact of a mental health disorder and addiction can make a major impact on an individual’s life, affecting their relationships, their career, family life, and their life in general. 

Without adequate treatment, this can be the beginning of a downward spiral, and if left untreated, can result in suicide. Men are three times more likely to commit suicide in comparison to women, which demands urgent action. 

At the Impact Outpatient Program, we look at the individual before we decide on the best possible treatment, and we strive to provide the best person-centered approach to treatment possible. 

It is something that should not be ignored, and if you or a loved one is experiencing a co-occurring disorder and needs a dual diagnosis, you can reach out to us and we can get started with the support you or your loved one needs.

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