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Depression and Drug Abuse

A person thinking about depression and drug abuse

Depression is one of the biggest mental health concerns for children, teens, and adults and affects 18.5% of the U.S. population each year.1 While many people will only experience depressive symptoms for a few days or weeks, others can feel depressed for months or even years at a time. Depression and drug abuse are closely linked, as many people still choose to use drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms instead of talking with a trained therapist.

At Evoke Wellness, we welcome individuals who struggle with depression and have developed a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder of addiction and depression. When you first arrive at our discreet center, we will run a full health assessment to determine the severity of the addiction and which therapies will help you the most. Our day treatment and outpatient treatment programs can support you through every step of your recovery journey for as long as it takes to recover.

For more information about our dual diagnosis treatment program, call 866.276.1920 today to speak with our caring, compassionate team.

What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?

Depression is a mental health disorder that is treatable through therapy and medications. Those with major or persistent depressive disorders take antidepressants to help ease their symptoms so they can get through the day. Unfortunately, many people choose to take their medication with alcohol or other drugs like cannabis or heroin. If this happens, a co-occurring disorder can develop.

Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis disorders, are more difficult to treat as both disorders can fuel the other. A person can develop a co-occurring disorder in multiple ways:

  1. Addiction – A common symptom of addiction is developing depression or anxiety. The longer a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the worse their depression can become.
  1. Depression – A dual diagnosis disorder can also occur if a person is depressed for a long period of time and turns to drugs or alcohol to cope. This can also occur with other mental health disorders, such as:
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

At Evoke Wellness, our team has experience treating all types of co-occurring disorders at our discreet location in Waltham, MA. Our programs are tailored to the individual and will include a healthy mix of therapies and medical support.

Understanding the Connection Between Depression and Drug Abuse

Depression and drug abuse go hand in hand for many people today. Our society’s relaxed approach to drug abuse has led to more cases of co-occurring disorders, which can lead to serious mental and physical complications the longer the abuse continues.

Some of the factors that contribute to the connection between depression and drug abuse include:

  • Self-medication – People who self-medicate will take smaller doses of recreational or illegal drugs, thinking they are treating their symptoms. In reality, they are just putting a band-aid over it and not dealing with the underlying issue of depression. Unfortunately, this band-aid causes more problems rather than fixing them.
  • Genetics and family history – Children with parents who are depressed or struggle with addiction will be more susceptible to those disorders. They have more mu-opioid cell receptors in their body and will experience more intense symptoms of depression and addiction.
  • External factors – People who experience past traumas, natural disasters, combat experience, or lose a loved one suddenly can develop severe depression. More often than not, they choose to use drugs instead of talking with a therapist about their feelings.
  • Social isolation – A common symptom of depression is wanting to be alone. Isolating yourself from friends and family is the worst thing you can do for depression. In fact, it can increase the likelihood of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.

If you or a loved one is depressed and abusing drugs, the best course of action is to enroll in a dual diagnosis treatment program. This program focuses on both issues simultaneously and allows people to reach their recovery goals over time.

Enroll in a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program at Evoke Wellness in Massachusetts

Evoke Wellness in Waltham, MA, is a full-service addiction treatment center. We welcome all people who struggle with a co-occurring condition of depression and addiction. Our behavioral therapists have years of experience treating all types of addiction and the underlying cause behind it. They work closely with each patient in group and private therapy sessions using a mix of behavioral therapy, medication, and holistic therapies to create a more effective recovery experience.

Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? If so, then schedule a tour of our discreet treatment center today by calling 866.276.1920.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention