Are Depression and Substance Abuse Related?

Apr 21, 2017 Addiction

Are Depression and Substance Abuse Related?

Many people believe that depression is caused by substance abuse. Of course, there is another group who believe that depressed individuals often times turn to drugs and alcohol. This is a classic “chicken or egg” scenario that doesn’t have a definitive answer.

What we do know is that there is somewhat of a correlation between depression and substance abuse. Many studies have been conducted over the years, with some showing that substance abuse, alcohol in particular, increases the risk for depression. In other words, those who are abusing drugs and/or alcohol have a better chance of becoming depressed.

There are many reasons for this, with some believing it is related to the effect that drugs and alcohol can have on the brain.

With all this in mind, here is something to consider: anybody who is being treated for substance abuse may also have to receive treatment for depression. This often times includes the use of medication as well as counseling.

Did you know that approximately one-third of people with major depression also have an issue with alcohol? Furthermore, here is something that most people don’t realize: children who have bouts of depression have a greater chance of developing alcohol problems later in life.  This is why a substance abuse counselor is also trained trained to deal with depression and anxiety in addition to addiction.

On top of everything else, substance abuse can result in the individual feeling as if they don’t have a place in society. They may feel that they have made poor mistakes, which have resulted in pain for others, such as their family. These feelings are enough to push many into depression.

Just the same as substance abuse, there is treatment available for depression. As noted above, some people who check into rehab find that they must be treated for both depression as well as the substance abuse issue they are facing.

As you can see, depression and substance abuse are related in some, way, shape, or form. This doesn’t mean that everybody who has is addicted to drugs or alcohol will be depressed. It also doesn’t mean that depression always leads to substance abuse. What it does mean is that both situations could happen to anybody.