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Links Between Addiction and Depression

Page history last edited by Alyssa 8 years, 2 months ago


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People who have a diagnosis of mental illness are much more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Drug abuse and mental disorders commonly occur together but in some cases the drug abuse causes the mental disorder, and in other cases the mental disorder causes the drug abuse. Depression can also be caused by substance abuse.  Mental illness and addiction often occur together and it is important for the health care provider to determine which came first.


  • About 29% of people who have a psychiatric illness also abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • 37% of people who abuse alcohol have at least one mental illness.
  • About 53% of people who abuse drugs also have at least one mental illness.


Depression often leads people to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.  The substances provide temporary relief, however when the effects wear off the person must continue to use the substance.  Drug and alcohol abuse often worsens the depression. 


Substance abuse can affect a persons mood, drugs such as marijuana and alcohol slow down brain functioning and can cause depression.  Cocaine increases a persons mood, however when the effects wear off the individual may suddenly feel depressed.  Many drugs also cause depression when the person is going through withdrawal. 








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