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Are People With Depression More Prone to Drug Addiction?

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  5. Are People With Depression More Prone to Drug Addiction?
Asked: 2019-02-11 17:35:13
My sister has had depression from a young age. I can recall her acting differently than other kids at various stages of childhood. When she became a teenager, she started to experiment with drugs and I think once she found that they really TEMPORARILY helped with the depression symptoms (which we could never really fully get under control) I think is when she became addicted. In the end, I think the drugs made her depression worse and now that's why she's in such a tough battle and fighting for her life. I am wondering if there really is a correlation between depression and substance abuse. I really think so but I'd like to hear some other opinions. Thanks!


Answered: 2019-02-11 18:09:20

Yeah, this is an interesting dynamic. Oftentimes, a CNS depressant (usually alcohol) can exacerbate the symptoms of depression. At the same time, people with underlying depression are more likely to use. The two have a synergistic relationship, it's a vicious cycle really. I hope she gets help. And if she does get help, make sure the center does co-occurring disorder treatment. SHe'll need both the depression and drug use attended to.


Answered: 2019-02-11 18:16:47

While not everyone who suffers from depression will turn to drugs, most clinicians and doctors agree that mental health issues are a risk factor for addiction due to the fact that drugs release dopamine in the brain, which causes feelings of happiness. You are correct in saying that it is temporary, though, which is why people who are self-medicating with drugs get locked into that addictive cycle- because the relief fades when the drugs do, and then worsens. Fortunately, once she is clean, a mental health care professional can work with her to manage her depressive symptoms so that she won't need to self medicate. Some treatment centers are for dual diagnosis- that is, those with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders- that can help her to get off drugs and also onto a regimen of medications that can help her, in a supportive environment. Good luck to your sister and your family! I hope she gets the help she needs!


Answered: 2019-02-19 22:13:43

Just my two cents: My cousin and I grew up together. We're like sisters. She's a recovering heroin addict. She started on opioids at first because she was prescribed something to manage pain after her appendix was taken out at 13 years old. She said the pain medicine made her feel uplifted, less stressed and more energized. Somewhere along the lines it went from pills to heroin and the rest is a long story but once she finally got to treatment, she was diagnosed with depression and they told her that a lot of people with depression get hooked on alcohol and street drugs because it makes them feel better after being depressed all the time. It seems to me based on that info from the treatment center that a lot of people with depression get hooked on something so there must be a correlation.


Answered: 2019-02-15 22:48:11

There is a connection between mood disorders like depression and substance addiction. I read a statistic recently by the National Survey of Substance Abuse in Mental Health that says almost 8 million people in the United States who have a mood disorder also suffer from addiction. More specifically, 1/3 of people with depression are also addicted to a substance. As far as I've been able to research, it seems that the specific correlation is unclear but enough studies have shown that the answer to your question is yes, people with depression are more prone to addiction.

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