May is Mental Health month and it raises awareness of habits and behaviors that increase the risks of mental illnesses. The risk factors associated with Mental Health are: marijuana use, prescription misuse, and Internet addiction.
According to Mental Health America, 20 states have legalized marijuana for medical use while eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. In the past year, 23 percent of adults with mental illness use marijuana. Smoking marijuana can increase the risk of developing psychotic disorders or worse symptoms in people who already suffer from anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
Prescription misuse is defined by Mental Health America as when a person uses a prescription that isn’t intended for them and uses the prescription different than how a doctor indicates such as: using a larger dosage, a more frequent use, and using the prescription longer than prescribed. People with mental illness are three times more likely to misuse prescription drugs and can lead to addiction. Walgreens has over 600 safe medication disposal kiosks in 45 states.
Mental Health America reported that 88.5 percent of Americans are Internet users even though less than 40 percent of the world has Internet access. People get addicted to the Internet because of the quick and easy accessibility and the control of going on whenever and wherever they want. Kids who struggle with internet addiction typically struggle with the following: alcohol/substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, ADHD, schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, sleep disorders, and aggression.
To find out if you or someone you know has an underlying mental illness, you can take a screening at mhascreening.org and bring it up to your doctor. You can also find treatment providers by using an online treatment locator at findtreatment.samhsa.gov or call the treatment referral hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
If you or someone you know is suffering with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text "MHA" to 741741 for text-based crisis help.
"Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That's called purpose. You're alive for a reason." -anon