Advertisement

How is depression related to drug abuse?

Research has shown an increased risk of substance abuse or dependence among people with mild-to-moderate depression. Studies have reported a comorbidity rate of 21% for mild-to-moderate depression and substance abuse, and of 19% for mild-to-moderate depression and drug abuse (apart from alcohol abuse). Conversely, people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs have a high rate of depression. Alcohol and some drugs are depressants, and depressed mood can be a direct outcome of substance abuse.

It's tempting to self-medicate to cope with major depression, but you're more vulnerable to negative side effects when the alcohol or drugs wear off. Feeling down or hopeless after you use alcohol or drugs ups the chances that you'll use more alcohol or drugs to squash bad feelings. To make matters worse, it can cause dangerous interactions with antidepressants and other medications, and interfere with healthy sleep, eating, and exercise habits.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Alcoholics who have a family history of depression, or who go through a difficult life event, are more likely to develop depression. When the mood disorder arises after alcoholism becomes a problem, it is called secondary depression.

Continue Learning about Depression

Life with Prozac: Accepting Your Depression Treatment
Life with Prozac: Accepting Your Depression Treatment
When I was first diagnosed with depression (and later bipolar disorder) I had a lot of preconceived notions about what it was to be treated for a ment...
Read More
What Should I Look for in a Psychotherapist?
What Should I Look for in a Psychotherapist?
How Do You Make the Distinction Between Depression and the Blues?
How Do You Make the Distinction Between Depression and the Blues?
Does the Stigma About Mental Health Issues Lead to Underdiagnosis of Depression?
Does the Stigma About Mental Health Issues Lead to Underdiagnosis of Depression?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.