The Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

Addiction is a disorder that chips away at an individual’s health, relationships, and social life. It also often has a profound effect on mental health. One of the most common side effects of addiction is depression, but depression can also be one of the reasons someone is more inclined to develop an addiction. Depression and substance abuse have a connection well worth learning more about, since understanding this symbiotic relationship can bolster a better understanding of how to treat both afflictions. Increasing early diagnosis of and response to depressive symptoms can help curtail the development of a substance addiction, particularly among young adults and teenagers.

Substance Abuse and Depression: The Hidden Link

A study designed to analyze the relationship between drug abuse and depression found that from a pool of 192 young people, only 10% of those successfully treated for depression went on to abuse drugs, compared to the 25% who continued to suffer from depression. Another study showed that young people with depression were twice as likely to abuse drugs as those without. The connection between depression and addiction to alcohol is more nebulous, as either condition can lead to the development of the second. Alone, addiction or depression can be crippling for the individual in question. When both are present at the same time, accidental death or suicide becomes a more acute risk.

Are There Different Treatments for Depression and Addiction?

Depression and drug abuse may appear hand-in-hand, but each condition requires a different approach in treatment. Depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy, whereas substance addiction may require medically assisted detox, extensive addiction counseling, and therapy. The approaches are similar, but whereas depression may be brought about by a chemical imbalance in the brain, addiction often has both physiological and behavioral factors to address. Regardless of whether someone is suffering from both substance abuse and depression or just one of the two, it’s important to seek treatment as quickly as possible.

How to Help Someone Suffering From Drug Abuse and Depression

There are different signs that can indicate that someone is suffering from depression or drug abuse. In individuals dealing with depression, there may be feelings of sadness or emptiness, erratic emotional outbursts, a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, trouble concentrating or making decisions, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. For those suffering from drug abuse, outside observers may notice dilated pupils, the sudden onset of depression, trouble managing money, sharp and marked changes in personality, lethargy, and disinterest in previously enjoyed friends and activities. Bear in mind that while one of these signs is not immediately concerning, the simultaneous presence of several may be a strong indicator that help is needed.

Both depression and drug abuse can be draining and harmful to the person suffering from them. These conditions are also immensely personal in nature, which can make them hard to talk about. If you or a loved one are fighting against depression and substance abuse, know that BetterAddictionCare can offer help with our 100% confidential services. Our nationwide recovery network includes some of the country’s top inpatient, outpatient, and alternative rehab programs. The facilities in our network are always accepting new patients, and our highly trained team of Client Care Specialists can coordinate your transportation and private insurance requirements.

Depression and drug abuse aren’t issues that have to be fought alone. Call today or fill out our contact form to start healing with the help and support of a dedicated team in a fully accredited rehab center.

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