Treating Both Depression and Substance Abuse

Treating Both Depression and Substance Abuse


If you suffer from both depression and substance abuse issues, then that is a double whammy that needs serious action to overcome.  Having both issues to deal with can be very difficult because leaving one of them untreated will almost always pull you back into problems with both of them eventually.  In other words, you have to address both issues at the same time in order to make any lasting progress in your life.  However, it is very common to see addicts and alcoholics who suffer from depression and eventually find the right path to get treatment for both issues.  The key is to take action in both areas.

With the issue of depression, you should probably see your doctor. They can help assess your level of depression and figure out the best treatment for you at the time.  Now if you are still caught up in abusing drugs and alcohol, then any treatment for depression is going to be pretty much useless.  So the real key is that  you have to treat them both at the same time.  You can do this by getting clean and sober and detoxed at a drug rehab facility, and then maybe scheduling an appointment to talk with your doctor about your depression immediately following rehab.  This sounds like a lot to set up but really it is no big deal.  Get scheduled for rehab and then make a doctors appointment.  These two things could change your entire life and get you back to living an exciting and purposeful life again.  If you are willing to put one foot in front of the other and take these two simple steps then you can change your life for the better.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Dottie Mae

The treatments for both substance abuse and depression tend to go very well together.  For example, a good doctor will push you hard to exercise regularly in order to help with your depression.  Turns out this also one of the more effective strategies in overcoming addiction as well. In a similar way, most drug and alcohol treatment centers will push you towards the 12 step program of recovery, which is characterized by regular meetings and social network of recovery as the foundation for staying clean and sober.  Turns out that this social interaction will help a great deal in keeping you from isolating and fighting your depression.  So basically, you need to take action and start getting treated for both problems, and the treatments will compliment one another and help you to overcome both issues.

What you do not want to do is to just treat one of these problems while attempting to ignore the other one.  That is a losing proposition because if you leave one problem untreated then it is going to eventually sabotage the treatment of the other problem.  You cannot treat just half of this type of dual diagnosis successfully.  It has to be a package deal.

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Yes, that is a lot of responsibility for anyone to take on.  But the results are worth it if you want to live an awesome new life in recovery….


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