How is depression related to substance abuse? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), there is a strong link between depression and substance use disorders. While estimates vary, anywhere from a third to over half of all people admitted into Boston rehab centers and emergency rooms for substance issues have a co-occurring mental health disorder.
The term coined for when a substance use disorder co-occurs with another mental health issue is “dual diagnosis”. About a third of Americans with a diagnosed substance use disorder also have depression, which is a concerning figure when contrasted with the 6.7 percent of adults in the general US population that have the condition.
The relationship between depression and substance use is often bi-directional though one may also chiefly cause the other. It’s also not uncommon for additional mental health conditions to be present. PTSD and anxiety disorders, for instance, frequently co-occur with depression and are also predictors of drug use in themselves.
An article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, referencing a 2013 study, indicates “depression may help predict first-time alcohol dependence.” The relationship between depression and substance misuse may be connected in the following ways:
All of these strong correlations point to the importance of getting treatment as early as possible. Depression and addiction recovery for yourself or your loved one will help restore your life, establish self-worth, and build healthy relationships.
If you are in the Boston Area, a simple phone call will connect you to people who can help with locating the right treatment center for you or your loved one.
Not all mental illness is the same, and only your doctor can determine your particular problem. In any case, there is a strong relationship between depression and problematic substance use. Dual diagnosis indicators vary from illness-to-illness, but some common symptoms may be present in most.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), serious trauma can result in the onset of a co-occurring disorder. Many types of trauma can be the trigger including witnessing a death or tragedy, war experiences, physical or sexual abuse, and being the victim of a violent act. When one of these experiences happens to a child or teenager, they are more vulnerable to developing a co-occurring mental health disorder. Brain chemistry is altered when traumatic experiences occur. This places additional stress on children and teens which can result in turning to substance abuse to cope.
It’s important to seek help as soon as the first signs of a problem are noticed. If you are in the Greater Boston Area, a phone call can connect you to someone ready to help find you the best treatment center for you or a loved one. Early treatment can prevent depression and other co-occurring mental health problems from complicating the already difficult situation.