does substance abuse cause depression

Does Substance Abuse Cause Depression?

Does substance abuse cause depression, or does depression cause substance abuse? A study involving laboratory animals suggests that substance abuse could cause mood disorders, such as depression. Previous research indicates that the converse could be true — i.e., that mood disorders cause substance abuse. No matter what, The Ranch TN has the programs and treatments necessary to help individuals heal from addiction and overcome their mental health issues. No matter how depression arises or what causes one to abuse substances, we have the necessary treatment to help individuals recover and get control back.

The Scope of Depression

About 20% or one in five American adults has a mental disorder, according to government estimates, and this group is more vulnerable to substance abuse and alcoholism. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that about half are affected by substance abuse, which means that 53% of drug abusers and 37% of alcoholics have a serious mental illness. Among those with bipolar disorders, 57% are also substance abusers, according to data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Survey. Those who have suffered a depressive episode within the past year are almost three times more likely to abuse alcohol, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Often, when individuals are struggling with a mental health issue like depression they turn to substances for relief. Because they are experiencing discomfort and in many cases not just emotional pain but physical pain, drugs, or alcohol can alleviate an individual’s discomfort. Unfortunately, this relief is only fleeting. The drugs abused wear off causing the individual to seek out more. The same is true for alcohol. Soon individuals find themselves in a vicious cycle where they have a dependency upon the substance they abuse while still struggling with depression. When this happens, professionals call it a co-occurring disorder and address it through dual diagnosis treatment.

Does Substance Abuse Cause Depression? A Look At The Science

When people enter treatment for substance abuse, the mental illness has to be treated as a separate medical issue distinct from addiction. For this latest study, Dr. Eric Nestler and his colleagues at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine studied the effects of cocaine on the brains of mice. They found that cocaine use increased the animals’ vulnerability to stress by causing changes in their brains. It was already known that histone methylation is associated with depression, and this new research found that cocaine use changed the levels of H3 lysine 9 dimethylation in a major reward center in the brains of the mice.

Methylation of histones turns on the genes in DNA, and the demethylation of histones turns them off. These processes are related to developing depression and stress-related disorders. “Our results provide fundamentally novel insight into how prior exposure to a drug of abuse enhances vulnerability to depression and other stress-related disorders,” Dr. Nestler said. “Identifying such common regulatory mechanisms may aid in the development of new therapies for addiction and depression.” This study appears in the journal Neuron. So science suggests a clear link between mental health issues and substance abuse.

The Ranch TN

Whether depression leads to substance abuse or if drug or alcohol abuse leads to depression, treatment is needed to recover. Fortunately, The Ranch TN has the necessary programs and therapeutic services to help individuals overcome addiction and improve mental health. For example, we offer the following:

These along with numerous other treatments can get individuals the help they need to heal. So reach out to us today at 1.844.876.7680. Because we can get you or a loved one on the path to recovery.

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