Coping with Mental Health and Substance Abuse during stress

Apr 12, 2022

There’s no doubt that stress can be overwhelming; one in three Americans say that stress from the pandemic [JD1] sometimes prevents them from making basic decisions according to personal finance website, WalletHub.

In WalletHub’s latest report, Nevada is the second most stressed out state in the country, with most of it coming from work-related situations.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and stress can result from issues with work, school, family, or finances.

This can not only affect our mood, but our health as well. Some of those examples include unintended changes in how much we eat or drink alcohol, which can be caused by stress.

Alcohol and mental health are closely linked. Drinking too much can affect your wellbeing. Some people may drink to try to relieve the symptoms of mental ill-health.

There’s no better time than now to speak up and out. Nevada Health Link is your resource for qualified health plans that cover the 10 Essential Benefits, including mental health services. We are also the only place eligible Nevadans can receive subsidies to help pay for monthly premiums. Learn more about how Nevada Health Link can help with mental health and substance abuse coverage.

If you have a loved one or someone you know that is battling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, below are resources that can help them find quality therapy or rehabilitation as they step into the recovery process.

Alcohol Awareness Month: Choosing therapy for co-occurring disorders

In a new report by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of deaths in the United States involving alcohol jumped 25.5 percent between 2019 and 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or have a substance abuse disorder, you have most likely experienced co-occurring disorders. 

Co-occuring disorder is when substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health condition affects one person simultaneously. It coexists in more than eight million Americans battling it, so it’s important to find the right therapy to start the recovery process. 

Alcohol Rehab Help, a site sourced from current scientific research, has a list of therapy recommendations specifically built for each classified mental health disorder. Although integrated treatments are great for co-occurring disorders, alcohol interferes with many different prescription medications. 

Alcohol Rehab Help suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective for co-occurring disorders because it’s long term and reduces the risk of relapse with the following conditions: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Eating disorders 

There are varying levels of severity with co-occurring disorders and it’s possible for it to change over time. There are environmental factors, such stress or trauma, that can cause genetic changes. It’s possible for it to pass down and increase the risk of both mental disorders and SUDs. 

AHP has dozens of resources regarding mental and substance use disorders, such as studies about general standard drink measurements, how heavy drinking affects blood tests, and problem drinking vs. alcoholism. AHP also provides resources to multiple recovery programs to connect to local chapters and communities, including veterans and LGBTQ+.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration also has a database here where you can find programs and rehabilitation in the local Reno community. 

If you currently don’t have health insurance, but need help, please reach out to us. Certain qualifying life events (QLE) may make you eligible for a special enrollment period. QLE’s are life-changing events such as job loss, income change, marriage/divorce and birth/adoption of a child to name a few. Email us at for any additional questions you may have about Nevada health insurance plans and special enrollment period to see if you’re eligible today.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Where to find help

While mental health awareness has been increasing in our state, the self-care and treatment required for mental illnesses has not been fully realized. The diagnosis and treatment of a mental health disorder or substance abuse, both inpatient and outpatient, is covered by plans offered through Nevada Health Link. This could include behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy. 

Nevada has many resources available for diverse populations. Whether it’s visiting a website or calling a hotline, there are ways to receive help and treatment, 24/7.

Local Resources in Nevada: