“I wouldn’t have to use drugs if I wasn’t so depressed.”
A refrain echoed by many who have fallen victim to substance use disorder, it seems responsible to dismiss this as a simple excuse or fallacy, but is there more to the addiction/depression connection than meets the eye?
Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates are some of the most commonly abused drugs these substances also share a classification in a good of drugs known as depressants. As the name suggests, depressants are responsible for depressing biological functions such as speech, balance, memory, and cognition. Depressants can also affect the release of hormones essential in regulating emotional wellness including dopamine and serotonin. The use or abuse of alcohol and drugs in depressed individuals can not only intensify symptoms of depression but prolong their duration putting individuals at risk of anhedonia or suicidal ideation.
Medications Are Not Enough
While medications are the first line of defense in treating depression we known that medication alone cannot tackle the intersecting symptomology of individuals who suffer from these co-occurring disorders.
For perspective, if a man suffered a broken leg, his doctor would prescribe medication and likely recommend restricted physical activity for recovery. This parallels the treatment of addiction and depression. Medication alone will not suffice. If the injured man took his medication and began to feel better he may decide that some jogging couldn’t hurt. In this circumstance, the leg would not only fail but it would also complicate future recoveries making healing more difficult.
Co-Occurring Treatment is Necessary
Addiction rarely stands alone and many suffering from substance use disorder discover their initial use stemmed from attempts to self-medicate an underlying and often undiagnosed issue or disorder.
At Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, we recognize the recovery from these disorders as dependent on each other. Without recovery from addiction, depression will return. With the recovery from depression addiction will arise. With this in mind, we created a plan for treating co-occurring disorders which would address both conditions while remaining focused on the sole goal of each client achieving his or her own ultimate happiness.
Bottom line: depression and addiction are common co-occurring disorders in many individuals, but without treatment for one neither can make a full recovery.
Treatment of both illnesses is essential for a strong and lasting recovery. If you or someone you love suffers from addiction and depression it is important to find a co-occurring treatment center qualified in treating both issues.
Ready for Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
If you’re ready to get help or would like more information about or program, call us today!