Drug addiction and depression are two different problems that usually intertwine. However, sometimes one begets the other – a depressed person turns to drugs, or a drug addict becomes depressed because of brain imbalance and how they emotionally feel about their situation.
The problem with that is that the symptoms of drug addiction mixed with the symptoms of depression can lead someone into a downward spiral of pain and discomfort. And what’s worse is that it affects the depressed addict and the people around them.
In this article, we will discuss how you can help someone who has both problems at the same time.
But before that, we have to define both drug addiction and depression to have a clear look at what you are facing.
What is Drug Addiction?
A drug addict is someone who has been abusing drugs regularly for a significant amount of time and continues to do so even when already experiencing painful and uncomfortable side effects of the habit.
This happens when a drug abuser builds a tolerance to their substance and has gradually increased dosages to keep on feeling the highs. Doing high doses means worsening side effects which the addict neglects, favoring the short-lived pleasure.
So essentially, drug addiction means using drugs for a short time of pleasure despite the significantly painful and uncomfortable side effects.
The short time of pleasure can seem to an addict like a saving grace of euphoria and calm or at least mental stability. Hence, it is not surprising that a depressed person will reside on the comforts of drug use when anxious or stressed.
To the user, the amount and frequency of drug use become significantly dangerous to both mental and physical health. To other people, the danger of being a drug addict comes with doing whatever it takes just to have a “fix” and the irresponsible behavior occurring when intoxicated.
A drug addict usually isolates themselves, becomes unable to maintain responsibilities, and becomes uninterested in anything else but satisfying their habits.
What is Depression?
Depression is essentially a low mood that lasts for long weeks or months. A depressed person is not happy, enthusiastic, energetic, or interested in anything.
Depression comes with feelings of uselessness, hopelessness, non-importance, lack of self-esteem, and other depreciations.
A depressed person usually isolates themselves, has no mental energy to maintain responsibilities, and has lost interest in things they used to enjoy.
So now you can see a similarity between addiction and depression. And it is not difficult to see how a mixture of the both for one person can be a significant problem that needs fixing.
One of the worst-case scenarios is a person who is so hopeless they use drugs as a slow “killing-myself” method with added pleasure. And often, people at this stage end up dying by suicide or overdosing.
We have to help someone with drug addiction and depression. But how?
Here’s How to Intervene When Someone is Suffering From Drug Addiction and Depression.
- Bring the person to a doctor and hope they see how bad things will get with continued drug use.
What depressed people hate the most is stress and discomfort. We have to show them that removing drugs or alcohol can save them from the following painful future problems.
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Stroke and Paralysis
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Kidney Disease
Also, the doctor should give them medicine to deal with depression and mental imbalance without having to resort to illicit drugs or alcohol. With prescriptions, they will be able to cancel the discomforts of depression without using their substances.
- Get help from therapy. Depression is not an easy thing to address, and even with medication, the person will need treatment.
- Remove all stress and anxiety triggers from around the patient. Depressed people will usually turn to drugs or alcohol when faced with a trigger.
- Make medical support available all the time. Addicts have been heavily using drugs or alcohol for months or years and are susceptible to worse cases of withdrawal with symptoms like delirium tremens that can be dangerous.
- Find a suitable place for recovery. Getting medical attention and therapy, in a place where you can detoxify and recover without any interruption from stress triggers will help you get over the problems more effectively.
- Plan for aftercare. After detoxification, you will still have to deal with the aftermath and the remaining symptoms of depression. Without aftercare, for example, a bout of hopelessness might trigger a return to drinking or drug use.
The best way is to convince a person to enroll in a retreat where they can have a needed rest and reset.
Depressed people are tired and need solace. So bring them to a place where the right people can take care of them, so they cease needing harmful help from drugs and alcohol.