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Why Does Depression often Cause Substance Abuse?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse is often accompanied by mental illness. One of the most common mental illnesses is depression. Depression effects millions of people every year and the depression makes them particularly susceptible to substance abuse. Most people who suffer from depression eventually develop a substance abuse problem.

What is Depression?

depression and substance abuse

Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are common for people with depression.

Depression is a complex illness that causes millions of people distress every year. The symptoms of depression are:

    feelings of sadness, despondency, feelings of loss, low self-esteem, low self-worth, hopelessness, worthlessness, and eventual suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Depression is described by those who have it as a black pit that they are in and cannot get out of. Some even go so far as to describe it as feeling like dying constantly with no way out. Since there usually is not an end in sight many people become so hopeless that they kill themselves because of it.

What is Self Medication?

Self medication is the practice of using illegal prescription or other drugs in order to self treat a disorder. People with mental illnesses are particularly susceptible to self medicating. They take the things that make them feel better and often this is illegal drugs or alcohol.

Why do People with Depression Self Medicate?

People with depression self medicate to find relief from the symptoms of depression. The depression is so painful that they cannot bear it without having some form of relief. This relief is usually temporary when someone uses drugs to achieve it. They feel a brief lifting of the depression and suicidal thoughts. In order to keep from self destructing, they use drugs to either forget or to get away from this feeling.

Special Populations and Substance Abuse

What Substances do People use to Self Medicate?

People uses a variety of substances to self medicate. These substances are usually things that cause euphoria, increased energy, forgetfulness, or feelings of worth. A few of these drugs are:

    opiates, cocaine, crack, MDMA, Psychedelics, Amphetamines, Methamphetamine, Methadone, Marijuana, and Alcohol.

There are many more drugs that people use to self medicate. Just about any drug may be used. It depends on the person and the type of depression that they have, what they use to alleviate the depression.

This self medication usually causes addition to the substance they use. Then they are dealing with both the initial depression and addiction rather than just the mental illness. Most people who use illegal drugs have some form of mental disorder, depression just happens to be the most common of these disorders.

How to Find Help for Substance Abuse caused by Depression

There are many sources for treatment of substance abuse caused by depression. One of the types of treatment is a rehab or treatment center. In a treatment center or rehab, they can treat both the depression and the substance abuse. For more information on finding treatment for these conditions and others call use at 1-800-895-1695.

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