ARCA understands that many people who struggle with addiction are also struggling with a mental health illness as well. Our treatment options not only treat the addiction but also address the underlying mental health issue that often times was the cause of the substance abuse. The story below from CNN recounts a mother’s loss of her son and mission she is on to help change the treatment environment that many addicts are faced with in today’s society.

“The Addict’s Mom” supports families battling the disease of addiction and is bringing awareness of the link between mental health and substance abuse. Learn more by reading the rest of the story.

Her life, like the lives of parents too numerous to count who have also lost children to addiction, was forever changed.

“There is no peace for me. Ever again. This is a life sentence,” she said in a speech paying tribute to her son during a special event in her town in honor of The Addict’s Mom, the Facebook community she founded in 2008 to support families battling the disease of addiction.

“It shocks me. It crushes me. It steals my soul,” she said. “There are no breaks, no holidays, there is no solace here. And I spend every second wishing I had one more moment, one more day with my son before drugs.”

But despite her grief — and perhaps because of it, she is more determined than ever to make sure that Daniel’s life was not lived in vain.

She is now committed to telling his story and raising awareness to help people dealing with both mental illness and substance abuse and pushing for reforms in schools and prisons to make sure they get the treatment they need.

The numbers don’t lie — mental illness and substance abuse often overlap.

Nearly 9 million people have co-occurring disorders, meaning they have both a mental and substance abuse disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

But only 7% of them get treatment for both conditions, with a staggering 56% receiving no treatment at all, the agency says.

Add in a justice system that isn’t always equipped to handle mental illness, and you have a recipe for disaster, Theodosiou says.

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