Exploring the Link Between Depression and Drug Use in Teens

Teens who use drugs frequently have a co-occurring mental health problem, like depression, alongside their addictions. There is a particularly tight relationship between depression and teen drug use, and frequently, drug addiction recovery programs for teens incorporate psychotherapy or other mental health counseling services into their treatment plans. The link between depression and drug use in teens is complex, but understanding it can help parents and teens find the right programs for treating addiction in Fort Lauderdale for their needs.

Depression and Addiction Cycle

Researchers are unsure what comes first in teens who suffer from addiction and depression. Does depression increase the risk for drug abuse, or does drug abuse make teens more likely to experience depression? Addiction experts believe that both answers are likely to be true, and that teens who suffer from both addiction and depression come to their diseases in different ways. During psychotherapy in rehab, teens may uncover which disease existed first and contributed to the other, which can help shape their rehab and aftercare plans.

Negative Urgency

For teens whose depression is likely a trigger for their drug abuse, researchers have found that negative urgency is a common thread. Negative urgency is a way of coping with depression symptoms that includes acting rashly without thought of the consequences when faced with severe stress. Teens with depression who use negative urgency behaviors seem to have a higher rate of drug abuse connected to their depression, as they use drugs as coping mechanisms. During rehab, teens with negative urgency traits often work on building coping skills to help prevent relapses.

Drug Use Triggers

For teens who are motivated by peer pressure or other factors when they begin to use drugs, depression can be a result of the addiction. The impact of drug use on their lives in school and their personal relationships can cause stress that leads depressive symptoms. Psychological changes caused by drug abuse and the pressure of cravings can also trigger symptoms of depression.