Addiction and Depression
Social worker and author, Jason Simpkins, has worked in the human service field for over 17 years, with experience in individual and family counseling, addiction, suicidology, and crisis intervention.
Conventional wisdom often says that people use drugs or alcohol to “self-medicate” or to deal with some underlying issues, or in more technical language, people use substances because they are trying to cope with a mental illness. This certainly is true for a significant percentage of people who struggle with a substance use disorder (SUD). Alcohol and drugs, like many things, can become a fast and easy coping skill, that people use for many reasons. But when used as a coping skill, they bring about its own problems, and can in reality make things worse, not better for those struggling with symptoms of depression.At that point, it becomes what is called a co-occurring disorder, where there is an addiction as well as an untreated mental illness.