“We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).”
Depression is a debilitating mental illness that interferes with many aspects of a person’s life. Everyone has a bad day now and then, but depression is more than that. Depression consumes a person’s perception of reality and distorts everything the individual does, thinks, and feels. Depression and other mental health conditions often co-occur with addiction.
Depression, Drugs, and Alcohol
Many people with depression turn to drugs or alcohol to escape from the intense feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, anxiety, and fear. Although drug and alcohol use leads to pleasurable euphoric sensations, these feelings are temporary and can cause a person to seek more drugs or alcohol to cope. Subsequently, one can develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and using them can actually worsen the symptoms of depression. Drugs and alcohol increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.
Using Drugs or Alcohol While on Antidepressant Medication
Depression is treatable with the appropriate medication prescribed and managed by a medical professional at a depression treatment program. A person with depression should not do drugs or drink alcohol, especially while on medication. All medication comes with a warning label that lists the side effects and dangers of mixing the drug with alcohol.
Harmful or deadly interactions are caused by mixing medications with drugs or alcohol. According to an article on mixing antidepressants with alcohol by Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. for the Mayo Clinic, “Drinking can counteract the benefits of your antidepressant medication, making your symptoms more difficult to treat. Alcohol may seem to improve your mood in the short term, but its overall effect increases symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
Many people who struggle with alcohol problems put their lives at risk for serious health complications. Alcohol affects a person physically and mentally. Neurotransmitters in a person’s brain release dopamine and create a pleasurable euphoric effect. Drugs and alcohol eventually take over the brain’s control of body movement, thinking, coordination, and memory.
Consequences of Drug and Alcohol Use
Drugs and alcohol impair a person’s ability to react, reason, and think clearly. When a person loses control of his or her body, there is an increased risk of accidents and death. Drugs and alcohol also lead to serious health complications such as liver failure, heart attack, brain damage, and death. People who live with depression and addiction need to have both conditions treated simultaneously for the best success in recovery. Depression and addiction are treatable as a dual diagnosis.
Many do not seek help due to fear and the stigma of depression and addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and a substance use disorder or addiction, get help today. Fort Behavioral Health offers a dual diagnosis treatment, which will help you in your journey to restored health, a renewed spirit, and a new sober lifestyle. Addiction is isolating, but you do not have to suffer alone.
Let Our Team Be Part of Your Team
Our Fort Behavioral Health team is ready to help. We can provide medically supervised detox, as well as residential programs for men and women alike. Our programs are abstinence-based and combine a 12-step program approach with a strong mental health component, integrating cutting-edge techniques such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- EMDR therapy program
- Somatic experiencing program
- Motivational interviewing program