Avoid Drugs and Alcohol to Manage Depression

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol to Manage Depression

Addiction is a cunning and baffling disease that alters the mind in quite a few ways. Not only do you become dependent to mind-altering substances, but the damage being done to your brain can often make you exhibit symptoms of mental illness as well. One of the most common symptoms of mental illness that addicts endure is depression.

Side Effects of Long-Term Substance Abuse

No matter what type of substances you’ve been abusing, they can act as a depressant. Alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines depress the nervous system, but drugs like cocaine and meth can make you feel symptoms of depression. The worst part about this side effect is that most addicts use when they are depressed because they want to numb their feelings. This begins a never-ending cycle because the substances they are using are causing their depression, but they try to use them to overcome their depression, which does not work.

What if You’re Taking Anti-Depressants?

Alcohol and drugs interfere with depression medications, so you won’t ever overcome your depression while you’re still using. Many addicts believe their medication isn’t working, but due to their alter of mind when they take these substances, the medication cannot work properly. This can be detrimental because the addict doesn’t think that their treatment is working, but the reality is that their substance abuse is the source of the problem.

Other Drugs can Cause Depression

If you have been abusing unprescribed drugs like opiates or benzodiazepines, you may experience symptoms of depression. These slow down your nervous system and make you not want to do much of anything. The less activity that you’re involved in, the more likely you are to become depressed.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis

It is possible that you legitimately suffer from depression, but there is no way to know until you go through the detoxification process. A medical professional who specializes in addiction should always conduct this procedure. They will help ensure that your symptoms of withdrawal are minimal and that you are safe. Once the detox process is complete, you can work with a therapist who can find out if you have a dual diagnosis.

Having an untreated dual diagnosis is the leading cause of relapse for people who have maintained some time in sobriety. If your depression isn’t properly treated, your knowledge and awareness of your triggers won’t be enough to battle the cravings when you’re experiencing symptoms of depression.

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