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I’m a veteran in IOP and I can’t seem to quit, do I need further treatment?
Veteran Drug Abuse - Freedom From Addiction
Q:

I'm a 26-year-old veteran who was discharged due to medical issues. Once discharged I began experiencing paranoia, anxiety, and hearing voices. I then began to use drugs to cover up what was later diagnosed as borderline personality and bipolar disorder. I used anything I could get my hands on, I need up staying sober for 11 months with the help of medications it was successful. However, I relapsed 4/20 of this year. I began smoking weed in hopes it would limit the voices, paranoia, anxiety and rape mood swings. Now I'm in IOP slowing down but I can't seem to stop. I know I'm not addicted but I believe I'm extremely dependant on it for mood regularity and stress reducer. I'm constantly asking for help at IOP for something for cravings or even medication changes since my old combo of pills no longer help me. What I'm saying all this today for is, do you think I'll need further treatment? What kind? And how long?

A:

Hi Jaimie. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing with me. It sounds like the mental health issues are underlying your substance use, and that you are self-medicating. This is not uncommon. Based on the symptoms you describe, including paranoia and hearing voices, it is possible that you have an undiagnosed mental illness or have been misdiagnosed. My first suggestion is that you see a good Psychiatrist and Psychologist to get a full picture of what is really going on.  This will also allow you to be put on the right medication. In combination with psychotherapy, treatment will be more effective. If you would like help locating professionals in your area, please do not hesitate to reach out again. I am happy to help.

* All responses provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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