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When to See a Mental Health Provider

Abrupt withdrawal from certain substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, can cause seizures or even death. If you have been using a substance regularly for a prolonged period of time, seek consultation from a medical professional to understand the risk for withdrawal complications before you attempt to quit or reduce consumption on your own. If you do attempt to quit or cut back on your own, and you begin to experience physical symptoms, such as change in heart rate, anxiety, sweating, shortness of breath, sleep problems, or problems focusing, call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room immediately.

It can take courage to reach out for help if you're experiencing symptoms of a substance use disorder or other problematic patterns of behavior, but seeking help is an important step toward understanding and obtaining relief from those symptoms.

The symptoms of addictive behavior can have a profound effect on someone's quality of life and ability to function. Treatment from a mental health provider can address these symptoms and help the person return to normal daily functioning.

If you're unsure about seeking help from a mental health provider, start with a primary care provider. They can conduct a preliminary exam and determine if any of your symptoms are related to a physical health issue. If they suspect or diagnose substance use disorder or another mental disorder, they can refer you to a mental health provider they trust for further evaluation and treatment.