There are many factors that cause drug abuse. However, the most common is the presence of a mental health disorder, like depression. Unfortunately, people with depression are far more likely to abuse illicit substances. Additionally, those suffering from substance abuse are more likely to develop a mental health disorder.
Take a look at the relationship between depression and drug abuse and explore how to effectively cope with both.
Drug Abuse and Self-Medication
Without treating depression professionally with behavior therapy or medication, life becomes challenging. For example, when you feel depressed, you might not have the motivation to exercise, eat well, or spend time with friends. It can feel like the color has left your life. Unfortunately, drug abuse is a common unhealthy way those with depression inject feeling into their daily lives.
Since depression is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, people often self-medicate with drugs that artificially influence these neurotransmitters. A temporary euphoric feeling is sought over and over again until the person develops a drug addiction on top of depression.
Of course, drug use certainly won’t help an individual treat depression. Drugs only worsen the cycle by affecting the chemical receptors in the brain. Although some people temporarily experience a rush of euphoria after drug use, what follows is often far from helpful. The user’s brain chemistry is also being altered for the worse.
The Impact of Drugs on the Central Nervous System
It’s definitely true that depression often causes drug use. However, the reverse is also possible. Using drugs can change your central nervous system and brain chemistry, which can lead to depression.
Not to mention, many drugs depress the central nervous system. This causes a number of symptoms that mimic depression. For example, anxiety, lethargy, aches and pains, difficulties sleeping, and general sadness can all be the direct result of drug use.
Drug abuse ends careers, ruins relationships, and ruins your physical and mental health. Consequently, when users realize this, it can further worsen a depressive state. Addiction feeds off of the isolation it makes people feel to continue the cycle, as does depression.
Depression and Drug Abuse
Knowing there is a relationship between depression and drug abuse, we learn that they can stem from the same issue. And treating each disorder at the same time with dual diagnosis treatment is critical for recovery when they often influence each other.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes, a third factor can lead to both depression and substance abuse. Trauma has the potential to cause lasting, multifaceted problems.
There are many different ways to define trauma. For example, you might have witnessed a violent crime, experienced abuse in childhood, or lived through a severe natural disaster. These traumatic experiences make a lasting impact on those with compromised coping skills.
Overall, experiencing any type of unresolved trauma can lead to many problematic issues and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you experience trauma, you’re more likely to suffer from other mental health issues like depression. Thus, this increases the chances of substance abuse.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at San Antonio Recovery Center
At San Antonio Recovery Center, the relationship between mental health and drug abuse is clear. Patients take part in dual diagnosis treatment, which addresses both issues simultaneously. Treating co-occurring disorders helps patients work toward a fulfilling, stable, and healthy life. Other treatment methods for recovery include:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Holistic and alternative therapies
- Relapse prevention training and aftercare programs
If you struggle with depression and drug abuse, seek help immediately by calling 866.957.7885. At San Antonio Recovery Center, you’ll work to overcome both issues with plenty of resources and support. Start leading the life you deserve when you contact us today.