How to Help Someone with Drug Addiction and Depression

How Dual Diagnosis treatment can help many individuals overcome mental health challenges associated with substance abuse.

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There is a direct link between depression and substance use. If you or a loved one struggles with mental health challenges, you may be familiar with the draw towards substances to temporarily numb negative feelings. Conversely, individuals dealing with addiction may experience depression and anxiety due to the impact drugs and alcohol have on their lives. Unfortunately, many treatment options force individuals to choose between mental health assistance and addiction treatment.

At Drug Rehab Ohio, we prioritize treating mental health disorders right alongside substance abuse. We know that these conditions are often interdependent, and in order to break the hold of drug or alcohol abuse and depression, both challenges must be addressed. Programs such as Dual Diagnosis treatment acknowledge the correlation between drug addiction and depression and encourage physical and emotional healing for sustainable sobriety. 

If you are helping a family member or friend navigate recovery, consider these tips:

Help Them Understand the Link Between Mental Health and Addiction

Some studies estimate that as many as half of individuals who battle addiction are also battling a mental health challenge. Let your loved one know that if they are experiencing these challenges, they are not alone! Helping them understand the correlation will allow them to seek the appropriate treatment for their specific needs.

Drugs and Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism

For those with mental health disorders, drugs and alcohol are commonly consumed to self-medicate or self-soothe. Unfortunately, those relying on substances as a coping strategy often find regular use and increased tolerance as a door to addiction. If feelings associated with mental illness or trauma are not addressed, the individual will continue to rely on substances for relief until the root of the issue is resolved.

Depression as a Result of Substance Abuse

Some studies suggest that regular substance use can change the structure of the brain, increasing mental challenges, including depression. Furthermore, consistent or obsessive substance abuse is commonly associated with strained relationships, declining work performance, and poor physical health. These possible outcomes can lead to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression that are often not addressed in typical drug rehab centers.

With such a defined link between addiction and depression, the solution should be obvious – those who suffer from these challenges should receive treatment that addresses both issues simultaneously. These programs are becoming more widely available as the importance of addressing mental health becomes clear. At the Recovery Institute of Ohio, we provide a program that ensures mental health challenges are addressed during addiction rehabilitation.

Rehab Options: The Dual Diagnosis Treatment Difference

Dual Diagnosis treatment programs are curated to address the needs of patients who are struggling both with substance abuse and mental health concern. These programs are available to help individuals learn strategies that can help them navigate triggers and find ways of dealing with uncomfortable emotions without relying on drugs or alcohol. If you are helping a loved one navigate depression alongside their addiction, ensure they are aware of the Dual Diagnosis options.

Learn Positive Coping Strategies

Dual Diagnosis programs allow individuals to explore situations that may cause them to abuse drugs or alcohol, and develop healthy strategies to help them navigate difficult emotions. These strategies take into account a patient’s mental health history, as well as their addiction history, and can include creative and innovative ways for exploring the depths of emotion and trauma – including music and art therapy, individual and family therapy, and life skills classes.

Addressing the Root of Addiction and Depression

An individual who suffers from addiction may find themselves relapsing after their treatment. This is often the result of someone who learned how to get sober in rehab but did not learn positive strategies for managing their mental health. At the Recovery Institute of Ohio, we prioritize getting to the root of the issue and addressing not only addiction but the environment where addiction was able to take hold. In doing so, patients experience a more solid foundation to build their recovery and create lasting change.

Prioritize Sustainable Healing: Depression and Addiction Treatment

Long-term recovery should be the goal! Our Dual Diagnosis programs include elements that put lifelong recovery and sobriety at the forefront in treating the whole individual. We encourage patients to develop skills to help navigate depression and addiction when triggers arise.

Prioritizing Lasting Recovery

A key facet of sustainable recovery is developing a plan of action after drug and alcohol treatment. Through access to the 12 Step Program, housing assistance, job assistance, and case management, Dual Diagnosis programs put you or your loved one on the journey to a successful, lifelong recovery journey. Through participation in this program, patients not only learn skills that help navigate triggers but also develop an understanding of the bold, bright future available with a sober lifestyle.

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, considering their mental health is a critical aspect of helping them get the help they need. Reach out to us at any time to speak to an addiction specialist who can help you and your loved one understand the link between substance abuse and depression. A meaningful life is possible, and with treatments such as a Dual Diagnosis program, patients can receive the help that caters directly to their needs.

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Reviewed by Jessica Kitchen

Jessica Kitchin is the Clinical Program Manager/Primary Therapist at Recovery Institute of Ohio. She received her Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University. Jessica believes that the best part of her job is knowing that she is apart of creating a safe, healthy, nonjudgmental environment where people can come and better their lives. "There is nothing more satisfying than helping others learn to live again and piece their lives back together as they become strong, productive members of society. Together, we can bring families back together and promote healing and wellbeing.

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