Depression and drug abuse can affect one another. People with depression may use drugs, and those who abuse drugs can exacerbate mental conditions. Depression suppresses the immune system; the risk to your physical and emotional health increases when you use drugs.
Dual diagnosis is a combination of different mental conditions, such as drug abuse and depression. Those who struggle with a dual diagnosis require specialized treatment; when depression is left untreated, drug abuse may worsen.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression affects about 10% of the US population. Psychiatric disorders prevent many people from living healthy and happy lives, which is why treatment is vital.
Signs of Depression
Knowing the signs of depression is essential because it can help you differentiate clinical depression from the traditional blues. The effects of the blues are short-lived, unlike depression that may last for at least two weeks. When people have depression, they may not perform their duties as expected at work or at home.
Fortunately, you can seek early treatment and save a loved one’s life if you know the signs and symptoms of the psychiatric condition. The most common signs of depression include:
- Anger and irritability
- Decreased energy
- Persistent sadness
- Weight changes
Factors that Contribute to Depression and Substance Abuse
Many factors that contribute to depression and drug abuse are similar because they involve the same brain chemicals. Some of these causes are family history and childhood trauma. Stress and trauma during childhood can lead to both disorders later in life.
For example, when you experience domestic violence at a younger age, you may abuse drugs to self-medicate due to depression resulting from the event. Also, when you regularly experience stress, you may indulge in drug abuse to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms.
Both depression and substance abuse lower the levels of dopamine and alter serotonin receptors.
When you suffer from a mental health disorder, the reward pathways in your brain become dysfunctional.
Depression and Drug Abuse Treatment
For a complete recovery, seek treatment from a rehab facility. Dual diagnosis treatment is the best approach that can lead to a successful recovery. Remember, it’s hard for addicts to stop using drugs abruptly because depression and other withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming.
Living with a loved one who is suffering from depression is quite stressful, so you’re likely to feel helpless and frustrated. Even though it’s hard to approach depression and addiction, you can prevent severe damage because the conditions worsen without help.
If you treat one disorder and ignore the other, there are higher chances of relapse. This is because it’s common for people to be unaware of either condition, but the treatment team will address all co-occurring and underlying issues.
The treatment includes both medication and therapy; the rehab center will stabilize mood and moderate withdrawal from substance through medication, while psychotherapy makes up the treatment’s backbone.
Our team of mental health experts at the Northern Illinois Recovery Center will offer you a variety of treatment programs for your condition. For a customized treatment plan, our therapists combine several programs, including:
- Dual-diagnosis treatment
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Holistic treatment approach
- Aftercare programs
- Meditation therapy
- Depression treatment program
Taking your loved ones for treatment can help to prevent suicide attempts and save their lives. Don’t let such a person feel isolated, offer support, and practical solutions.
Find the Help You Need Today
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Northern Illinois Recovery Center if you or your loved ones suffer from depression and drug abuse. Get help from our experts who understand the proper treatment to overcome depression and addiction. Contact us at 855.786.1978 to get started.