Depression and Addiction: Treating a Dual Diagnosis

10 AA Sayings That Will Inspire You in Recovery

10 AA Sayings That Will Inspire You in RecoveryDepression and addiction are common comorbid conditions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s Epidemiological Catchment Area study, among individuals with lifetime major depression, 16.5% had an alcohol use disorder and 18% had a drug use disorder. Both problem drinking and drug abuse are more common in depressed individuals than in the general population. Substance abuse can worsen the course of depression, increasing the risks of outcomes such as substance addiction, hospitalization, suicide attempts, and overdose. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that major depressive disorder affects almost 7% of American adults (almost 15 million). Treatment for these co-occurring disorders must target both conditions in order for the individual to achieve lasting recovery.

Recognizing Depression

How can you distinguish between clinical depression and the typical downs we experience on a daily basis? With clinical depression, the severity of these moods is more pronounced and persistent. In order to meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder, an individual must experience at least five symptoms of depression for two or more weeks. These symptoms include:

  • A predominantly low mood the majority of the time
  • Physical exhaustion
  • A lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Unwanted weight loss/weight gain
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Failure to focus on important tasks
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you or a loved one have experienced these symptoms for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression. Recognizing that you are depressed is the pivotal first step towards getting better.

Dual Diagnosis

Substance abuse is common among people struggling with a depressive disorder. If you struggle with depression and addiction, you have what is called a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis can be made up of any combination of a mental disorder and addiction. Diagnoses that include a depressive disorder are among the most common forms of dual diagnosis. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in three adults who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse also suffer from depression. Dual diagnoses can be tricky to treat because each disorder can intensify the symptoms of the other. Fortunately, help is available and recovery from a dual diagnosis is possible.

If you are struggling with a dual diagnosis, it is important to seek help from a program that provides a specialized dual diagnosis track. Seeking treatment from a dual diagnosis program can help you avoid the negative effects of substance abuse and depression, helping you to lead a healthy, happy life you deserve.

Recreate Life Counseling Services

At Recreate, we offer specialized dual diagnosis treatment. Our dual diagnosis program addresses both problems simultaneously because we recognize that these two forms of treatment must be integrated for a healthy recovery. Our experienced counselors provide education on the disorders and emphasize the importance of prioritizing both conditions. Recreate is a licensed provider of intensive outpatient programs in sunny South Florida. We are dedicated to providing individualized treatment plans to help our clients recreate their lives in recovery. 

Number of Opioid-Addicted Babies More than Tripled in 15 Years

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of babies born dependent on opioids increased by 300% between 1999 and 2013. These babies are born craving opioids and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, resulting in many physical and mental challenges. This data is derived from publicly available data from 28 states where information about opioid addiction has been archived. Terrifyingly enough, the CDC believes that the hospital data greatly underestimates the prevalence of drug-addicted infants. In the report, the CDC stated that neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) increased from 1.5 per 1,000 hospital births in 1999, to 6 per 1,000 hospital births in 2013.

What Can Be Done About This?

The CDC believes that state governments have an important role to play in addressing this issue because they delegate funds for substance abuse treatment and recovery that are passed down from the federal government. In 2012 alone, Medicaid programs in some select states covered 80% of the whopping $1.5 billion in costs for the treatment of drug-addicted babies at hospitals. It would be ideal if even just a percentage of these funds went to helping the mothers before their babies were born addicted to drugs. The CDC urged the need for funding of a public health initiative to help pregnant women who are battling addiction. There needs to be more proactive attempts at helping these women before their babies are born already addicted to drugs. One such effort is the Perinatal Recovery Effort through Maternal Intervention and Education (Project P.R.E.M.I.E) in Santa Maria, California. This program provides pregnant women with a sober living environment, substance abuse programs, parenting classes, and nutrition and health support, regardless of the woman’s financial status. More programs and efforts such as Project P.R.E.M.I.E. need to happen to help expectant women abstain from opioids during pregnancy, and help them maintain lifelong abstinence and sobriety.

Recovery from Drug Addiction

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, please contact Recreate Life Counseling Services today. Our outpatient program in Delray Beach, Florida is here to help you or your loved one recover from addiction and recreate your life. We believe that addiction recovery is possible for everyone. There is no shame in asking for professional help, so please reach out to us today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our treatment program or how we can help you.