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Depression and Addiction​

One-third of people who struggle with addiction also have depression. Treat your dual diagnosis virtually.

Depression is treatable​​

More than 8% of American adults live with depression. Depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness or loss of interest in day-to-day life that can make you feel hopeless. This mood disorder can have a major impact on quality of life. For some, it affects their appetite, sleeping patterns, ability to work, and relationships. Depression and substance use disorders are common co-occurring disorders. We often refer to this as a dual diagnosis.

Depression is treatable. About 80-90% of people who face depression benefit from treatment and find long-term improvement in their mental health and quality of life.

FAQs: Treating Depression and Addiction

It is common for people to drink in an attempt to escape their mental health disorders. Unfortunately, alcohol can make depression worse even for people who don’t drink heavily. Those who drink to manage their depression are much more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder over time.

Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant, which means it depresses the inhibitory centers of the brain, impedes some neural functions, and slows reaction times. In plain terms, it slows down and blocks certain brain functions. Beyond that, it can also affect the reward system in your brain, making it harder to feel good or even just okay without alcohol, exacerbating depressive symptoms.

Alcohol makes anxiety worse. As a depressant, alcohol may initially seem to make a person feel calm and relaxed. But it changes brain chemistry, which can worsen anxiety.

If you experience a great deal of anxiety the day after a heavy drinking episode, this is why. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, indicates that around 7 percent of Americans struggle with alcohol-induced anxiety.

Increased anxiety is also a symptom of alcohol withdrawal for those who have alcohol use disorder. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal also include: sweating, vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, increased heart rate, and even seizures.

Using opioids has been linked to subsequent depression, and depression has been associated with longer periods of opioid use.

It is possible for opioid use disorder and depression to create a feedback loop—the presence of one worsens the other. For this reason, it is often best to address depression and opioid use at the same time. Ignoring depression to treat addiction can lead to relapse, and ignoring opioid use disorder to treat depression can prolong mental health struggles.

In most cases, yes. Many antidepressants are well tolerated and effective for those taking Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone).

Your doctor needs to be aware of all medications you’re taking in order to make the best recommendations for your care, but you shouldn’t fear that you’ll be forced to choose between treating your opioid use disorder and your co-occurring mental illness.

FDA-approved medications for depression

When clinically appropriate with science-backed therapy creates outstanding results.

Asking for help is easier than ever

Asking for help for any health condition can be challenging. Depression can make it especially difficult to reach out for support.

Our providers are trained in harm reduction and in the unique needs and concerns of people with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues. They will discuss your situation and medical history with you and prescribe safe medications that fit you best.

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Quit Opioids

Feel like yourself again with medication and recovery support.

Stop Drinking

Modern, personalized alcohol treatment from the privacy of home.

Treat co-occurring depression and addiction

Our pages are medically reviewed and fact-checked by accredited medical professionals to ensure that all statements about medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, procedures and tests, standards of care, and typical protocols are accurate and reflect current guidelines as well as the latest research. However, please remember that the information on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. Workit Health, Inc. and its affiliated professional entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided on this page. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.

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