The Link Between Depression, Addiction & First Responders

By Safe Call Now Admin Staff

Depression is the second most common type of mental health disorder in the United States. It causes changes in your thinking, behavior and moods. First Responders  suffering from depression often feel persistent sadness and anxiety. Hopelessness and a loss of self-worth are common symptoms. Clinical depression carries with it risk of self-harm and suicide. It can also weaken the immune system and your overall physical health.

When you add alcohol or other drugs to the mix, the situation can become extremely volatile. The combination of depression or other mental health disorders and drug addiction is referred to as co-occurring disorders, and it’s vital that both are treated simultaneously in order to make a successful recovery.

Some Depression and Substance Abuse Statistics

Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from co-occurring disorders each year. According to estimates, 2/3 of those with substance abuse problems have at least one mental disorder, and more than half of those suffering from mental disorders have at least one substance abuse problem. One in ten Americans suffer from depression. The groups at greatest risk for depression are:

  • Adults ages 45-64
  • Women
  • African Americans and Hispanics
  • People who are unable to work or are chronically unemployed
  • Those without insurance or health benefits

The Importance of Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Depression and Addiction

You might understand a person turning to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate or numb the pain of depression. However, positive developments can also drive them deeper into addiction. When you’re consumed with negative thoughts and feelings, happier states of being might prove frightening.

Someone seeking help for depression without addressing their substance abuse problems can make strides towards recovery and find themselves in uncharted territory. A return to their drug of choice is familiar ground. It feels more like home, and they relapse. Similar setbacks are just as likely if not more so for someone recovering from addiction while neglecting their mental health.

That’s why it’s so important to seek a treatment program that recognizes and treats both issues simultaneously. If you’re struggling with co-occurring disorders, talk to your physician. They can help recommend a mental health professional or a treatment center qualified to serve you.

If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:

Safe Call Now:  24 Hour Confidential Hotline:  206-459-3020

For more information on the First Responders program:  Click here

Or call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008