Getting the Help You Need: Can Depression Lead to Substance Abuse?

By on August 28, 2019

Depression and other mental disorders are often linked with substance abuse. In many cases, depression can lead someone into abusing alcohol or drugs because they use the substances to try to escape the depression they’re feeling. When someone turns to drugs or alcohol to escape from depression, it’s crucial they get the right help so they can work on their recovery as well as treat their depression. 

Look Into Substance Abuse Treatment

Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol can start by looking into substance abuse treatment. In these cases, it’s likely going to be better for them to look into inpatient rehab services, as these treatment programs offer more help than outpatient treatment programs and the intensity of the program can be very helpful in the journey to recovery. 

Choose the Right Treatment Plan

The person must look into the various treatment plans that are available to find one that’s going to work well for them. There are many types of treatment plans today, all with varying levels of effectiveness based on the person and what they need. One program might not be a good fit for them, while another one will be perfect and will offer all the help they need. It’s important to understand the differences between the programs to find the right one. 

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Work on Treating Depression at the Same Time

When looking into the treatment programs available, it’s important to consider one that offers help with depression alongside the assistance for substance abuse. Both depression and substance abuse should be treated at the same time so the person doesn’t end up going back to abusing drugs or alcohol as soon as they’ve left the program. An inpatient program that offers help for a variety of mental health issues, as well as treatment for drugs and alcohol, will likely be a good fit for someone suffering from depression and substance abuse. 

Learn to Recognize Signs of Depression

As the person moves forward with their treatment, they should learn to recognize the signs of depression. These signs can include a lack of interest in activities, a lack of energy, feelings of despair, and changes in sleep patterns. When they learn the signs of depression, people can recognize the signs in themselves and know to seek extra help so they don’t end up relapsing after the treatment program is finished. 

Learn How to Avoid Returning to Substance Abuse

For those who suffer from depression, relapsing is a large concern. It’s crucial for them to learn how to avoid relapsing. While this won’t guarantee they will avoid drugs or alcohol going forward, understanding what could cause a relapse and how to get help before it happens, or once it happens, can allow them to get the treatment they need to avoid turning back to the addictions if they start to suffer from depression again.

Studies have shown that depression and substance abuse are often related, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for the person to completely stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol. It simply means they should focus on treating both substance abuse and depression at the same time to start their journey to recovery. If you are suffering from depression and have turned to drugs or alcohol, look into the treatment programs available today to get the help you need. 


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Getting the Help You Need: Can Depression Lead to Substance Abuse?