What is the relationship between drug addiction and depression?
Drug addiction can result from a depressed individual attempting to alleviate or “self-medicate” their untreated symptoms of depression. Depression can also result from drug addiction, both due to biological changes caused by drug addiction (the “normalizing” of artificially elevated levels of neurotransmitters, the brain’s “feel-good” mechanisms), and also the severely disruptive life consequences that can result from addiction.
Family strain, relational dysfunction, financial burden, health issues, lying, and illegal activity are frequently a part of a drug addicted lifestyle, and individuals frequently turn to drugs to combat the unpleasant feelings that result from the consequences of that same drug use. Additionally, the intense physical and mental cravings that addicted persons experience can cause psychological and physical feelings of depression.
What challenges does this pose for treatment?
When a person has developed an addicted pattern in which the only way to cope with the feelings of mental and physical depression resulting from drug use is to use more of the drug, this cycle becomes very challenging to break. However, given time and support of both professionals and fellowships such as Alcoholic Anonymous, recovery can be achieved.
What sort of help can drug addicted individuals get? How can loved ones help them?
Professional treatment can help drug addicted individuals sober and stay on the road to recovery. Loved ones can help addicted individuals by supporting their sobriety, and encouraging and supporting their engagement in professional and comprehensive treatments for both drug addiction and depression.
Residential rehab programmes are the best treatment option for people struggling with drug addiction and depression. These people have a dual-diagnosis condition and their treatment involves close medical care and therapy to ensure a long-lasting recovery.