The Overlap Between Addiction and Depression

The Overlap Between Addiction and Depression

Addiction is not a one-off issue. Like throwing a pebble in a pond, there are numerous ripples that come from addiction. While substance abuse obviously leads to a number of physical health problems and can lead to life-threatening complications, it can also cause financial problems, family strain, trust issues, and can lead to a number of different mental health disorders.

One of the most common mental health complications that addiction can cause, or can cause addiction in the first place is depression. While there are treatment options like Orange County rehabs available to help anyone who may be struggling with these problems, working to avoid mental health problems like depression may be enough to stop a drug or alcohol addiction from developing in the first place.

Let’s take a closer look at the overlap between addiction and depression.

Studies have shown that people with alcohol use disorders are affected by higher rates of depression than the general public, with the problem affecting nearly a quarter of alcohol-addicted men, and almost half of all alcohol-addicted women.

But, some clinical studies have shown that the co-occurence rate may be as high as 70%.

The problem is similar to the question of a chicken and egg: it can be difficult to determine which issue developed first.

Many people who are dealing with depression will use substances like drugs or alcohol to escape their negative thought process and cope with their turmoil. Meanwhile, people who are already addicted to alcohol or drugs can have problems with their natural dopamine release and feelings of worthlessness and loneliness that can contribute to or cause a depressive state.

Unfortunately, the way these problems reverberate off of one another only exacerbates the issues, causing further problems.

While depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders that affect those struggling with addiction, other common mental health disorders include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and more.

There are numerous risk factors that can put certain people at a higher risk of struggling with these issues, including genetics, stress, trauma, personal environment, and more.


Overall, many people struggling with a drug or alcoholism problem are often dealing with a mental health dual diagnosis that can impede their ability to get the help they need and overcome their addiction.


Luckily, there is a solution.


Dual diagnosis treatment programs offer clients access to care for a mental health disorder and substance abuse problem simultaneously. This is the best way to fight against these problems — fight them at the same time, not separately.

During treatment for a dual diagnosis, a clinical professional will work to do things like reverse negative lines of thinking and negative thought processes that may be contributing to drug or alcohol use and replace them with more uplifting and positive thoughts that are more conducive with sobriety and recovery.

While addiction treatment centers often claim that they can offer clients help for mental health, many don’t have the tools or professionals needed. If you are looking for help for yourself or your loved one, it is vital to find a facility that can offer everything that you may need to conquer addiction and embrace long-term recovery.

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