Drug abuse has surged rapidly over the years destroying millions of lives across the world. It not only affects the person addicted to drugs but his or her family and loved ones as well. According to a 2013 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an estimated 246 million people, aged 15 to 64 years, have used an illicit drug.
A century or two back, drugs like opioid or cocaine were used as medication to induce sleep, alleviate pain or to cure stomach disorders. With the advancement of science and technology, several beneficial as well as hazardous drugs penetrated the market.
When depression leads to drug abuse
Whether drugs cause depression or depression opens the gate to drug abuse is difficult to comprehend. Depression is a complex mental disorder that involves feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. In certain cases, people suffering from a particular mental disorder tend to seek solace by self-medicating or opting for illicit substances as a means of coping with their symptoms. The temporary relief, which diminishes once the effect fades away, provokes them to go for higher and stronger doses to obtain the same effect for a longer period of time.
Many individuals with a depressive disorder seek solace in drugs in order to lift their spirits. When a person suffers from both depression and an addiction, it is called a dual diagnosis. Drug abuse or misuse can have serious impact on one’s body and mind. Substances like opioids, heroin or cocaine increase the dopamine level of the brain, inducing euphoric feelings. With a prolonged drug abuse, the neurotransmitters of the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin decrease, eventually paving the way for drug tolerance.
Drugs that may cause depression
Drug dependency can also begin when a person’s ability to cope with a mental disorder deteriorates. Further illegal drugs can have several side effects such as depression, anxiety or other mood disorders.
Alternatively, drug addiction is common among people with depression. Conversely, people addicted to or dependent on drugs are also likely to suffer from depression. The euphoric sensations triggered by the drugs help them in combating their distortions while increasing their risk of addiction. Psychoactive drugs, sedatives and stimulants can act as major agents of depression. They alter the brain’s chemicals and increase the level of tolerance.
Depression is a serious mental disorder, which can worsen with substance abuse. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2015, more than 16 million people aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year.
Road to recovery
When an individual is coping with an addiction and a mental health disorder it is important to treat both simultaneously. It is crucial to address the underlying mental health condition whether it is triggering the addiction or is the result of one. Simply taking care of the addiction and not what is driving the person towards the addiction leaves the chances of the person returning to the substance of abuse.
Dual diagnosis can be treated with behavioral therapies and medications. If your loved one is living with co-occurring disorders, contact the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline for expert advice on the best dual diagnosis centers in California. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online to get instant assistance regarding some effective dual diagnosis rehabs in California.