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The list of negative signs and symptoms that go along with substance use disorder (SUD) is vast and varied. One of the more intense and dangerous co-occurring combinations of symptoms, however, includes those of mania and substance use in tandem. If substance-related mania manifests, it means it is time to seek professional addiction and mental health care as soon as possible.

Better Understanding Mania

Mania is sometimes used as a colloquial term in the public sphere. However, mania is very much a real and defined symptom of addiction and mental illness. 

According to the peer-reviewed clinical write-up titled Mania by Doctors Dailey and Saadabadi, “Mania, or a manic phase, is a period of 1 week or more in which a person experiences a change in behavior that drastically affects their functioning… The defining characteristics of mania are increased talkativeness, rapid speech, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, distractibility, increase in goal-directed activity, and psychomotor agitation. Some other hallmarks of mania are an elevated or expansive mood, mood lability, impulsivity, irritability, and grandiosity.” Many people also solely associate mania with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder; however, this is false. 

Mania can also be related to certain life events, especially ones that come with elevated stress levels and/or traumatic events. It is also quite common for mania to manifest in someone who is struggling with issues of substance misuse, abuse, and addiction.

While it is not the most common symptom, many people with SUD have also experienced periods of mania. This may happen as a result of actively drinking or taking too much of a substance or even during withdrawal (especially from alcohol).

According to Doctors Revadigar and Gupta and their peer-reviewed write-up titled Substance-Induced Mood Disorders, “Although, both illicit substances and iatrogenic medications are ingested with the impetus to alleviate mood, a substantial proportion of patients experience paradoxical affective disorders following the ingestion of said substances. Instead of the prosaic euphoria experienced while intoxicated or the subsequent day’s ‘hangover,’ some individuals will become manic or enter into a state of depression. Mood disorders that precipitate only in association with substance use are specified as ‘substance-induced.'” Generally, it is the use of certain illicit substances like stimulants and psychedelics that can induce mania, but it is often the elimination of alcohol that can cause it as well.

Understanding Bipolar and Addiction

It is also true that many people who struggle with mental health disorders associated with mania also exacerbate their manic symptoms by using alcohol and illicit substances. This can be particularly true with people who are struggling with bipolar disorder.

As stated in Medicina, “Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common, severe and cyclic mental illness that presents with marked and unpredictable changes in mood and activity. BD is a risk factor for addictions, both behavioral, such as gambling and substance use disorders. Besides a strong association between alcohol and nicotine dependence and BD, the abuse of other drugs, such as cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, cannabis, and prescription medications is also an important health concern in people with BD.” One of the reasons that so many people with bipolar disorder are also prone to substance abuse is that they are trying to self-medicate to control their symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Yet, the act of self-medication only “works” temporarily and only makes things worse in the long run. The good news is that there are many healthy effective ways to treat mania and SUD.

How to Best Treat Mania and Substance Use Disorder

In treating mania and SUD, it is first important to diagnose whether an individual is struggling with bipolar disorder and SUD or SUD with symptoms of mania. This will most likely change how the individual is treated because someone with bipolar disorder is often treated medically, and this may not be the case with someone solely with SUD.

However, both of these types of individuals will most likely be treated with some type of psychotherapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This is because these “talk therapies” can help get to the underlying issues that are often causing an individual to use substances in the first place. As is often said in recovery circles, “It is less about the drink or the drug itself and more about why we take the drink or the drug in the first place.”

Healing at the Cellular Level With The Phoenix Recovery Center

Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand that most of us don’t merely deal with one issue when it comes to needing treatment. This includes issues of mania and SUD. Because of this, we also understand that it takes a comprehensive approach to fully heal at the cellular level, which is why those are the only types of recovery plans that we offer.

The renowned American author and philosopher, Joseph Campbell, once said, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” We are here to help make that acceptance for a new and better life a reality.

It is now widely understood that there can be a direct connection between mania and substance use disorder. This is especially true with stimulant addiction and periods of binge drinking. The good news is that, with proper treatment, substance-induced mania can dissipate relatively quickly. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help get you on the right road to long-term recovery. For more information about drug and alcohol-induced mania, as well as how alcohol and substances can trigger mania in an individual who already struggles with it, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT