Millions of American’s suffer from the overwhelming and unrelenting symptoms of depression every day. It is a struggle experienced by people of all genders and ages. Statistically, however, women experience depression at higher rates than men. Some research indicates women are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder at some time in their lives. Although diagnosis rates between the sexes are different, using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate symptoms is a challenge that is equally detrimental regardless of gender.
What is Depression?
Depression is a severe yet common medical illness that leads to overwhelming and sometimes inescapable feelings of sadness. When someone struggles with depression or a major depressive disorder, the symptoms they experience are far more than a passing moment of despair. The lows that accompany depression significantly impact your day-to-day life and often cause you to lose interest in activities or hobbies that once gave you pleasure. When left untreated, chronic depression can lead to other mental and physical health challenges. Depression is believed to affect approximately 17% of the population, with women typically experiencing symptoms with greater frequency.
What is Heroin Addiction?
Heroin is a highly addictive, psychoactive drug. Along with prescription pain medications and manufactured drugs like fentanyl, heroin is classified as an opioid. Over the last decade, the death rate related to heroin addiction has risen dramatically year after year. Many people become addicted to heroin because they use prescription pain medication (legally or illegally) and no longer have access to their drug of choice. Heroin is easier to get and produces similar effects to many prescription narcotics. When someone struggles with a heroin addiction, they are dependent on the effects the drug produces.
Heron produces similar effects to opioid pain relievers. As a result, it works within the central nervous system to create a feeling of euphoria. In addition to pleasant feelings, heroin also slows the speed of vital body functions, including your heart and breathing. When the drug wears off, happiness and euphoria are often replaced with significant depression. This quickly leads to the desire to use again to relieve unpleasant feelings. Without treatment to overcome heroin addiction, the effects of long-term heroin use can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. If you or a loved one struggles with a heroin addiction, it is crucial to seek help at a skilled treatment center like Ohana Recovery Center, where caring and compassionate treatment staff can help you safely and successfully detox from heroin.
Are Heroin and Depression Related?
Although it can be challenging to determine if one “caused” the other, it is crucial to note that heroin addiction and depression are closely related. It is not uncommon for someone struggling with depression symptoms to turn to heroin (or other drugs and alcohol) to relieve the intensity and severity of their symptoms. However, heroin use can inevitably make depression symptoms worse, especially when the high wears off as the drug begins to leave the body. Additionally, the effects heroin has on chemical levels in the brain can lead to new or worsening depression in individuals who previously didn’t struggle with depression or major depressive disorder. You or a loved one are dependent on heroin and try to reduce or stop using; depressive symptoms can become intense and challenging to manage without assistance.
Overcoming an addiction to heroin, especially when coupled with co-occurring depression, is challenging. Seeking help at a skilled women-focused treatment center like Ohana Recovery Center can help you begin your recovery journey. Members of our treatment team will work with you to design a treatment plan that addresses your physical, emotional, and spiritual treatment needs. When you have depression and a heroin addiction, you have what is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. It is vital to ensure your treatment program is designed to address the unique needs of dual diagnosis conditions. Unfortunately, even if you complete treatment to address addiction or depression, relapse risk increases if you fail to address both conditions simultaneously. Contact us today to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and how therapy at Ohana Recovery Center can help you get well.