Heroin Abuse and Depression

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Addiction is a highly complex disease that typically has many components. Usually when a patient enters treatment for the first time, they are like an ice block that is being chipped away at. Through individual, group and family counseling, the individual begins to learn a bit more about themselves and what may have led to the addiction.

Women in Depression

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Addictions are Often Deep Rooted

Many recovering addicts find that their addiction didn’t come out of nowhere. It is instead deep rooted. Maybe the person started using drugs because they felt insecure and wanted to loosen up around friends. Perhaps they were struggling to keep things together and needed an escape. Another common underlying factor is depression.

Depression and Heroin Use

It’s not uncommon for people suffering from depression to use drugs for the purpose of self-medication. Unfortunately, heroin and depression put a person at a much higher risk for suicide and self injury.

According to a study published in Addiction, the rate of death by suicide for heroin users is as much as 35 percent. Heroin abusers are also 14 percent more likely to die from suicide than non users. Another study reported in Substance Abuse and Misuse found that hopelessness is one of the most common features in heroin addicts who are considering suicide.

In a heroin overdose, the drug suppresses vital functions such as heart rate and breathing. Because of this, it’s not always easy to determine if the fatal overdose was accidental or planned.

Treatment and Long-Term Outcomes

When getting treatment for a heroin addict, it’s critical that they are also assessed for depression. Being proactive allows the person to get the help they need for both mental health conditions. If the depression is not accounted for, it can significantly complicate a healthy recovery.

Despite the many hurdles that exist for people living with both heroin addiction and depression, recovery is possible. As a matter of fact, some research shows that results can be very positive providing that the person selects a treatment center that is compassionate, gives the patient and family education and offers equal parts of treatment for the depression and the heroin addiction.

If you are in need of treatment for a loved one with an addiction to heroin, call The River Source. Our success rates are higher than average because of our holistic approach to treating the mind, body and spirit.