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The Depression – Substance Abuse Cycle and the Need for Rehab Treatment Help

As far as tag teams go, depression and substance abuse tend to go hand-in-hand regardless of which condition comes first. According to Roseman University of Health Sciences, nearly one out of every five Americans will develop a mental illness like depression or some form of addiction at some point in their lifetimes.

It’s not uncommon for people experiencing depression symptoms to turn to alcohol and/or drugs to gain relief. On the flipside, someone who abuses alcohol or drugs for prolonged periods of time will likely experience depression symptoms on a regular basis.

When these two conditions co-exist, it’s only a matter of time before a vicious cycle of substance abuse and depression symptoms start to take shape. For these reasons, it’s essential to get needed rehab help as this cycle will continue to spiral out of control for as long as a person keeps using drugs.

Depression & Substance Abuse: Two Sides of the Same Coin

depression and substance abuse

Substance abuse can cause and often worsens already existing depression.

Depression develops out of chemical imbalances in the brain that trigger impaired logic, reasoning and emotional-based processes. In turn, the symptoms that result from depression, such as sadness, feelings of guilt and shame only work to strengthen existing brain chemical imbalances.

In the case of substance abuse, both alcohol and drugs interfere with the brain’s normal chemical activity, creating a state of increasing chemical imbalance over time. Likewise, most all forms of substance abuse and addiction produce worsening symptoms of depression as chemical imbalances become more pronounced.

Brain Chemical Pathway Effects

While depression and substance abuse do have different causes, both produce the same overall effects on the brain’s chemical make-up. According to the University of Utah Health Sciences, addiction and mental illness in general are brain diseases that share certain key similarities:

  • Both conditions affect the same chemical pathways in the brain
  • Both conditions interfere with the brain’s normal chemical processes
  • Both conditions disrupt dopamine outputs, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter that plays a central role in regulating the brain’s reward system
  • Both conditions interfere with serotonin outputs, another mood-regulating neurotransmitter chemical

What you Must Know About Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis Disorder

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, dual diagnosis disorder develops in cases where depression and substance abuse co-occur. With dual diagnosis, the symptoms of both conditions tend to feed off one another due to the overall impact on the brain’s chemical balance. This means, depression symptoms will trigger drug-using urges and drug effects will aggravate depression symptoms. This vicious cycle of depression and substance abuse makes both conditions that much harder to identify and treat as the two sets of symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from one another.

The Need for Rehab Treatment Help

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, as the most prevalent form of mental illness, an estimated eight percent of Americans experienced depression within any given two-week period between the years 2007 and 2010. For people struggling with depression, alcohol and drugs offer seemingly convenient and effective ways of relieving emotional turmoil and stress. Over time, the effects of these addictive substances cause considerably more harm than good.

If you or someone you know struggles with depression and substance abuse issues, it’s never too soon to consider getting needed treatment help. If you have any further questions about the depression-substance abuse cycle, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 for more information. Our phone counselors can also help with locating treatment programs in your area.

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Emotional Effects of Drug Addiction

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5 Ways Eating Disorder Rehab Helps You Improve Your Body Image

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How Holistic Rehab Methods Help Your Recovery

holistic recovery

The holistic approach to medicine ascribes to the philosophy that a patient should be treated as a whole, as opposed to a carrier of specific symptoms. Holistic methods are are often very helpful to people seeking rehabilitation from drug or other types of abuse. It is often a supplement to standard care, which the U.S…..

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Rehab Centers Welcomes Disability Advocacy Provider DisabilityVoice to it’s Provider Network

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How Local Detox Centers Can Get You On the Right Path

detox from drugs

Detox is often the first part of a long-term, effective treatment program for individuals who become addicted to drugs. While it isn’t always necessary (and it certainly isn’t the only component to addiction treatment by far), detox is used at the beginning of many rehab programs for a reason. In addition, patients who attend detox….

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5 Tips for Dealing with Addiction After Rehab

addiction recovery

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as a mental illness that “changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug.” Altered thoughts, emotions, and habits are not things that can easily be reversed during the time….

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Worried About Your Privacy? Check out Private Rehab Centers

drug rehab confidentiality

Many people who go into rehab for addiction are often concerned about their privacy. Will your information be shared with whomsoever desires it? The answer is no. Private rehab facilities are very careful when it comes to handling a person’s recovery with confidentiality. Often these facilities can be expensive, but for many people undergoing treatment, the….

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