Alcohol abuse and depression commonly occur together. While this might be a coincidence, the two disorders have clear connections. Explore the links between alcohol and depression as well as the need for dual diagnosis support in alcohol addiction rehab.
How Depression Can Lead to Alcohol Abuse
Feeling depressed for a short period of time is common, but long-term depression is a far more serious concern. As many as 350 million people around the world struggle with depression. Unfortunately, nearly one-third of those individuals abuse alcohol.
If people don’t seek treatment for depression, or even if treatment is unsuccessful, they may try to self-medication with alcohol. Drinking alcohol can feel like a temporary fix, but the opposite is true. Alcohol is actually a depressant, which only makes the situation worse.
Anyone who drinks alcohol on a regular basis can develop an addiction. However, those who abuse alcohol and have a mental health issue like depression and anxiety are more likely to develop alcohol abuse disorders.
Why Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Depression
Individuals who struggle with pre-existing depression may notice that it gets worse through alcohol abuse. Others might start by abusing alcohol and then see signs of depression emerge. Alcohol not only depresses users, but it can lead to a number of mental health concerns.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol creates a rush of euphoria for some individuals. The receptors in the brain get a flood of hormones, but this flood is temporary. The only way to experience that rush again is with more heavy drinking. In between drinking sessions, the absence of feel-good hormones leads to feelings of sadness, apathy, and depression.
The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Clearly, there’s a strong link between alcohol and depression. Alcohol abuse can cause depression, which can lead to alcohol abuse. For that reason, no addiction treatment program would be complete without providing mental health support to clients.
Dual diagnosis treatment is when two or more disorders receive support, attention, and care at the same time. In this case, the two issues would be alcohol addiction and depression.
If individuals only seek treatment for addiction, then a bout of depression could lead to relapse. If depression is the first focus, then clients under the influence of alcohol won’t be able to make progress. The only truly effective solution is to treat both issues simultaneously.
Overcome Alcohol and Depression Disorders at Crestview Recovery
Fortunately, rehab programs at Crestview Recovery can help clients tackle mental health and addiction issues at the same time. There’s a variety of treatment methods to choose from, and we customize our plans to treat the individual rather than the disease. Examples of therapies available at Crestview Recovery include:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Mindfulness meditation therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
Exploring the links between alcohol and depression reveals the importance of dual diagnosis treatment. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we design our treatment to address both physical and psychological concerns. If you’re ready to overcome addiction, call 866.262.0531.