Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse as per Skyward Center

Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse as per Skyward Center

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Mental health issues like depression and addiction can significantly negatively impact a person’s overall quality of life. Substance addiction is the compulsive drive to consume addictive or dangerous substances. Cocaine, meth, and heroin are a few examples of the prohibited substances. Clinical depression is characterized by persistent grief, worthlessness, and despair and may last for days or weeks. If a depressive episode lasts more than two weeks, then that can be diagnosed as severe depression. Depression and dependency both encompass dopamine receptors within the brain that are connected to the risk-reward system.

According to studies, depression and drug abuse are related.

Recognizing The Connection Between Drug Use and Depression

The likelihood of both addiction and depression co-ocuriing in the same person can increase when hereditary and environmental factors are combined. Factors like the following might play a part:

  • A person’s genetic makeup.
  • Drug and alcohol misuse throughout the person’s formative years, or adolescence.
  • Neurology: a shortage of neurotransmitters that compromise emotional stability in a person
  • Surviving a particularly traumatic event.

Depressive Drug Addiction Symptoms

People who use drugs and have depression are more likely to abuse certain substances. Here are some instances of these drugs:


Statistics show that one-third of individuals with a major depressive diagnosis also struggle with alcoholism. In many cases, the initial sign of depression is depression itself. The CNS-depressant effects of alcohol may worsen depression over time. Combining alcohol intake with antidepressants may decrease the efficacy of both medications, worsening the depression that is already present.


In those who already struggle with depression and/or suicidal ideation, withdrawal from cocaine can result in severe depression or even suicidal thoughts. Without assistance, the user is more prone to relapse after withdrawal from such a strong stimulant. Schizophrenia and psychosis have both been connected to cocaine addiction.


Marijuana abuse has been related to depression. Marijuana addiction is much more common in those who suffer from depression because it gives them a way to escape their depressed feelings. Research indicates that marijuana abuse can raise the risk of schizophrenia and psychosis. When marijuana use is coupled with depression symptoms the risk of developing other psychological illnesses increases.


Many individuals who struggle with depression also smoke cigarettes often. Nicotine boosts your energy by turning on your adrenals, and it relaxes you by inducing the brain’s dopamine release. Smokers who are addicted to nicotine may have started smoking to treat their depression, or they could have changed the way dopamine circuits in the brain operate to the point that they feel depressed, making quitting smoking more difficult.

Seek The Most Effective Dual Diagnoses Treatment in Dallas

Skyward Treatment Center in Dallas is used to the challenges presented by dual diagnosis medical care. At this clinic, we help patients deal with both their depression and substance abuse issues. Additionally, we are dedicated to helping families support their kids in overcoming drug misuse and any co-occurring mental health conditions, such as severe depression.

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