Drug Addiction and Depression: How They Intertwine

Drug Addiction and Depression

Did you know that approximately 20 million Americans have drug addictions that are not being treated? This often leads to their condition getting worse and sometimes lethal. Drug addiction and depression are popular patterns that go hand in hand; where the person will have psychological disorders, as they age the condition of their mental state sharply declines. In a lot of cases, they will develop substance abuse or alcohol abuse issues. Studies show that women were more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness over men. Substance abuse among women is growing at an alarming rate where a 2009 survey reported that women 6.6% of women aged 12 and older had confessed to using an illegal drug.

The catastrophic effects of Alcohol, Depression and Substance abuse

Many people who are alcoholics and heavy drinkers are in danger of liver cirrhosis which is when the liver does not perform properly due to excessive and long term abuse. Cirrhosis can eventually lead to the liver failing completely which ultimately can lead to death.

Depression and substance abuse come with their myriad of negative effects as well. Depression not only weakens your immune system leaving you susceptible to colds and viruses but can cause insomnia, difficulty focusing which is especially problematic in academic environments, inability to preserve healthy personal relationships, and in some occasion’s chronic pain!

Substance abuse is even worse with the effect varying on the substance.

Inside the Psychology of Depression, Alcoholism, Drug addiction & Substance Abuse

The reason why many people with depression turn to opioid substances is because of the chemical Dopamine that is released when the drugs are taken. Dopamine affects our emotions, movement, and recollection and since the brain remembers the feeling of being “high” an increased level of pleasure is released which in turn becomes addictive due to the brain craving the activity.

When someone is depressed and cuts themselves several people have reported that the motor response that is released is similar to shooting heroin. It is also reported that this behavior is self-reinforcing and gives the user a sense of power and a sense of control.

Now alcohol, on the other hand, is slightly different as alcohol for many is solving a problem. The underlying primary problem for alcohol abuse could have started in your adolescence, teen years or your adulthood. From those times onward there will be some bad feelings, bad relationships and bad situations that were experienced which leads to alcohol becoming the coping mechanism and, thus the cycle begins.

Other cases that have led to alcoholism are peer pressure and the want for social acceptance. In a lot of social situations, many may find it hard to turn down their friends who are offering them drink after drink. It is human nature to want to be accepted by our peers and loved ones, many would say that it is fundamental to humans. Getting rejected is actually not good for your health; some symptoms from rejection are not sleeping well, weakened immune system, depression, and a shortened life span. All of these side effects can lead to peer pressure drinking.

Warning signs of the substance of abuse and depression

Here are some warning signs and symptoms that you want to pay attention to, and if you see your loved one doing these consistently then they may need treatment.

  • Loss of appetite or constant binge eating
  • Shying away from their usual activities and behaviors
  • Sleeping a lot and lacking energy
  • Loss of hope, feeling numb and feeling like nothing matters
  • Drinking, smoking and abusing more drugs than they were before
  • Feeling unusually moody usually angry, sad, worried, on edge, or fearful
  • Hostility and fighting between their close family and friends
  • Hearing thoughts and believing things/events that are not true
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Lack of motivation to do daily necessary tasks (example: bathing)

Addiction Treatment, and Recovery

In addition to receiving addiction treatment some methods that may help improve the mental state of those with depression and substance abuse disorders are

  • Reaching out and connecting with others in the church, participating in community services, and engaging with positive influences in their lives
  • Utilizing healthy outlets such as painting, drawing, singing, exercising, cooking, writing
  • Helping to improve others’ lives
  •  Receiving professional help through a rehab service

In order to solve the issue of the person’s attachment to the substance, you have to find out what led to the substance abuse and the underlying reason why the user is abusing alcohol or other substances. After the root cause is discovered the next step is to find a healthier replacement so that the user can gradually and safely let go of the substance/substances.

When the right issue is addressed we can begin to reach a solution so that many more people will have a better quality of life and healthy lifestyles not dependent on substances.

8 Signs Someone You Love May be Using Drugs

Drug addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It generally starts with occasional, recreational use and gradually with repeated use; it progresses into the need for regular use regardless of the risk to your relationships, your health, your career, and your finances. Addiction is the psychological and physical need to continue use, regardless of the effects. The amount of time it takes before substance abuse takes hold on someone’s life varies from person to person, but eventually, the individual feels compelled to seek out their substance of choice due to strong cravings. It’s important to keep in mind that most people with a substance abuse problem tend to keep their addiction a secret and it’s unlikely that they admit to the problem. Learning the signs that someone you care about is abusing drugs and/or alcohol may be the difference between life and death. Here are 8 signs that someone you care about may be using drugs.

Physical Changes in Appearance

Changes in appearance are the most common sign of drug abuse. Some of the most common changes in appearance may include:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Pale skin
  • Changes in dental health
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue

Keep in mind that these changes may be gradual, but in many situations, the changes are relatively sudden and often times very drastic. The person may also have bloodshot or glassy eyes, their pupils may constrict or dilate, they may have a constantly runny nose and/or they may have sores on their skin, which are often caused by scratching, injections and/or picking at the skin.

Personal Hygiene

It’s also common for someone with a substance abuse problem to have a decline in their personal hygiene. If the person appears unkempt, such as not showering, brushing their teeth and wearing the same clothes daily, they may have a substance abuse problem and should addiction treatment as soon as possible.

Missed Work or School

Although people who have a substance abuse problem do their best to manage their everyday life, unfortunately, their addiction generally wins in the end. They often miss a lot of work or school, which is often the result of all-night binges or simply losing interest in anything but their substance of choice. Substance abuse changes the way people look at their responsibilities. Their priorities shift and typically in ways that aren’t admirable. For instance, someone that is typically dependable will begin to forget appointments, miss deadlines and be just generally unreliable.

Money Problems

An addiction is an expensive habit, one that can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars weekly in order to maintain daily use of substance supply. Individuals with a drug abuse problem often spend large, unexplained amounts of money, drain their bank account and go outside their budget in order to supply their habit. Unfortunately, once they have depleted their personal finances, people with a substance abuse problem often turn to steal money and/or items that can be sold. If the person is constantly in need of financial assistance because they “lost” their money or their money is “missing”, it may be a sign of drug abuse. It is important to not enable the person by giving them money to buy their drugs. It is essential that you stand your ground, even if they become angry or try to put pressure on you-enabling does not help them.

Poor Judgment

Individuals that have a drug abuse problem will usually do anything to obtain their substance of choice, including participating in risky, dangerous behaviors, such as lying, stealing, selling drugs and engaging in unsafe sexual activity. These behaviors often result in the individual being arrested and spending time in jail; however, this generally doesn’t deter them and once they are released from jail, they will continue participating in these risky behaviors.

Unhealthy Friendships

Changes in friendship may not be uncommon, but some changes may be drastic. For instance, a newly abandoned longtime friend will have no idea why the person stopped being friends with them. People with a drug abuse problem may change friends by simply changing the crowd they hang out with; this is because they want to spend time with others who have similar habits.

Change in Behavior

One of the most common signs of a substance abuse problem is that the person becomes defensive, secretive and isolated. They tend to refuse to answer questions with a straight answer. For instance, when asked where they have been, the answer is typically something like “why do you care” or it may be as simple as “out”.  Their mood is generally unpredictable and may include sudden outbursts, acting erratically and may shift suddenly from positive to negative.

Denial

Someone with a drug abuse problem will not only deny they have a problem, but they will deny anything and everything they are confronted with. In many situations, the denial isn’t only for your benefit, but for theirs as well. It’s typically difficult for someone with a drug abuse problem to admit they need addiction treatment and it’s because they really do not think they have a problem. Many people with an addiction will not reach out for help or quit using drugs/alcohol on their own.

It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease that affects everyone. The individual with the addiction is affected physically, psychologically and emotionally as are their family and friends. People with an addiction problem often need loved ones to step in and help them get the help they need, so by knowing the signs of addiction, you can address the situation as early as possible and encourage them to get the life-saving help they need.

If you are concerned that someone you care about may have a substance abuse problem, contact Soba Mesa for information about how we can help.

Are You Thinking About Getting Sober? Then This One Is For You

If you are thinking about getting sober, then you need to check out the story below. Addiction is a serious disease that impact countless people all over the world. It has a way of slowly, gradually wrapping its claws around someone before it swallows them whole. Often, there is collateral damage that goes right along with addiction. This comes in the form of family members, friends, career problems, and a damaged reputation. Fortunately, when someone makes the decision to get sober, there are major changes that take place in that person’s life. If you are thinking about seeking addiction treatment and trying to find sobriety, it is important to think about the major changes that take place when you seek help for substance abuse.

Your Friendships Are Going to Change

Anyone who spends time drinking or doing drugs inevitably will surround themselves with people who do the same. This is simply the law of attraction. If you drink on a regular basis, you likely hang out with people who do the same. There is a reputation during high school and college that people are more fun when they drink. They call alcohol the social lubricant and it can help people stand out. This is also a nice way to blend in with the crowd.

On the other hand, too much alcohol can destroy someone’s life. People need to be sober. This is where people find meaningful relationships, build a career, and enjoy their family. Therefore, if you make the decision to stop drinking, you are going to find new friends. Some people might be a bit skeptical about your decision to stop drinking entirely; however, those who support you will continue to stand by you. Along the way, you will make new friends as well.

You Will Split Checks More Often

When you drink, you might find that you care more about splitting the checks evenly. When you drink, the bill ends up costing about the same all the way around. Alcohol is expensive and, when everyone drinks, the cost has a way of evening out. When you stop drinking, you will find that you spend way less money.

As a result, when you go out to eat, you are going to care about splitting the check a bit more. You might even find that you are hesitant to fund the alcohol industry. You may develop a moral opposition to this. There is nothing wrong with this. When you make an effort to find sobriety through addiction treatment, your life is going to change. That is what is supposed to happen. You should embrace this.

You Will Find New Hobbies

Those who like to drink tend to go out in the evenings and do exactly that. If you have an addiction to alcohol, you might also spend your days doing this as well. The point of addiction treatment is to find a way to break this habit. This means trying to find the root causes of why you were driven to drink (or use drugs) in the first place. As a result, your hobbies are going to change as well. Instead of spending your time drinking, you are going to spend your time doing other things. Prepare to find new hobbies.

At first, you might find that you are an introvert. You may spend more time doing things like watching Netflix. That is fine. You are learning to branch out and find new hobbies. Over time, as you make new friends and spend time with your family, you might be pushed to try other things. Do this. Embrace it. This is the chance for you to experience life without alcohol.

You Will Be Asked Why You Don’t Drink

Finally, be prepared for this one. People are going to ask you why you don’t drink. After all, most people who don’t go through addiction cannot imagine suffering from it themselves. They think, “that will never happen to me!” You know all too well that addiction can swallow anyone. Therefore, be prepared when people ask you why you don’t drink. At first, you might find this uncomfortable. You may even decline to answer. That’s okay! That is your right. Over time, you will become more comfortable coming to terms with why you can’t drink. This is all a part of the recovery process. Once people understand, they will support your decision. They will even watch out for you. Embrace this support system.

Rely on the Trained Professionals at Soba Mesa

At Soba Mesa, we are substance abuse, drug, and alcohol treatment program located in Mesa, AZ. We provide professional detox and inpatient treatment for addiction. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones.

The Top Five Thoughts to Have Before Using Opioids

Addiction is a serious issue that impacts countless individuals and families across the country. Fortunately, the attitude towards addiction and mental health issues is starting to see a shift. This has allowed countless people who are impacted by addiction to seek the help that they deserve. Once someone is able to achieve sobriety, this is an occasion that deserves to be celebrated. When it comes to an addiction to opioids, this is an impressive achievement. Sadly, a large percentage of people who achieve sobriety are going to suffer a relapse. The relapse rate during recovery may be as high as 60 percent. Before someone makes the decision to use opioids, there are a few thoughts that need to enter the head.

Why Do I Feel to Urge to Revert to Substance Abuse?

First, people need to ask why they are feeling the urge to use opioids once again. While a relapse after a period of sobriety is not uncommon, it is also important for people to know why they are doing this. During the road to recovery, one of the goals is to address the root cause of the reasons why someone decided to use opioids in the first place. Have these causes changed? Are the roots the same?  Figuring out why someone is feeling the urge to use opioids again is an important part of avoiding a relapse. Even though relapse can impact more than half of all individuals in recovery, there are still steps people should take to stay sober.

What Was My Top Priority During Addiction Treatment?

Next, people need to ask themselves whether or not sobriety is really their top priority. Sure, there are lots of pulls on people’s time. This includes personal relationships, professional relationships, job obligations, and personal hobbies. On the other hand, unless someone gets clean for themselves, they are not going to be able to stay sober. Without a complete and total dedication to long-term sobriety, a relapse is going to happen. This means that people need to be blind to put in the hard work. Is the hard work getting done? Our meetings being attended? Are sponsors being called? Or counseling sessions being capped? This can help people stay sober and avoid a relapse.

Where Is My Addiction Treatment Support System?

In addition, everyone needs to ask whether or not they have a strong support system. Addiction is a disease. It should be treated as such. At the same time, addiction can be beaten. In order for someone to overcome addiction and stay sober, a strong support system must be in place. Someone who has newly achieved sobriety needs to rely on the support network from day one. This can make a difference and helping someone stay sober or relapsing back into the claws and reaches of addiction. Anyone who is thinking about using opioids needs to reach out to the support system. This might include friends, family members, spiritual leaders, and support groups.

Why Did I Make the Decision to Quit Substance Abuse?

Next, people need to make sure that they are quitting for the right reasons. As mentioned above, everyone needs to make the decision to quit for themselves and their long-term well-being. Anyone who enters into treatment in order to make friends or family members happy is bound to fail. If they aren’t committed to themselves, they are not going to be able to commit to treatment. This is one of the biggest reasons why people think about using opioids again. Everyone needs to make sure they are quitting for the right reasons. This can have a long-term impact on someone’s overall health, well-being, and future desires. Remember, before making the decision to use again, the impact this is going to have on one’s own life.

Am I Ready?

Finally, before making the decision to use opioids, people need to think about all of the work they have done to get to this point. When someone achieves sobriety, they had put in a tremendous amount of work in order to get clean. All of this work has been done to rebuild a regular life and avoid a relapse. Is it really OK to destroy all of this work at the altar of opioids? Is it really OK to return to the world of social isolation and damaged personal relationships? Remember to think about this before making the decision to use opioids again.

Rely on the Professionals at Soba Mesa

At Soba Mesa, we are dedicated to helping everyone find the drug and alcohol addiction treatment they need. Located in Mesa, AZ, we provide detox and inpatient treatment for numerous types of addiction. If you would like to learn more about our services, please call us today to learn more!