The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 7 percent of the adult population in the U.S., 14 million people struggle with substance use and depression. One of the problems with these statistics is that depression is a side effect from certain types of substance use, it can also be a withdrawal symptom of substance use and certain types of substances used are depressants. So how do they know if the depression is from the substance use or if the individual is really depressed?

Depression has a physical and psychological effect on people in which the symptoms can be so severe, that the individual may be prevented from getting the help that they need. The physical signs of depression may include excessive sleep or insomnia, overeating or not eating enough, fatigue, abdominal cramps and headaches. Many people may also experience psychological signs such as: feeling hopeless, sadness and suicidal thoughts, difficulty concentrating and remembering details, anxiety and irritability.

Drug rehab programs often times make a co-morbidity diagnosis that includes depression. The main reason for this is because it increases the ability to claim it on insurance, and it allows them the ability to treat two different conditions simultaneously: depression and drug “addiction.” A rehab program may place you on anti-depressants; however the problem with this is that some drugs create depression or make it worse. Once you no longer have an issue with drugs, you may no longer have depression and would therefore not need anti-depressants or any other medication for that matter.

Some drug treatment programs recognize the relevance of waiting until the individual is no longer drug dependent before they suggest medication treatments for depression. This is largely due to the fact that it may not be appropriate for the individual struggling with drug use, to be prescribed medication that has the potential to be misused.

There are several different methods and treatments to dealing with depression in drug treatment. Some individuals may prefer a more natural method that may use yoga and acupuncture, meditation and vitamin therapy. Holistic programs are available in outpatient centers where you can go to participate and still be able to maintain your daily routine. They are also available in spa retreats where you would spend a week or longer is a peaceful environment. While these programs work for some individuals, they do not work for everyone.

Cognitive behavioral education (CBE), offered exclusively at the Saint Jude Programs, is very effective at helping people deal with depression and drug use. CBE uses  methods such as self awareness and self change to reevaluate the decisions and choices that a person makes regarding drug use. It teaches them to make more productive choices and decisions for their future. The method also helps participants to address negative thought patterns and to exchange for more positive thoughts. The method has been very effective in helping guests get past their depression and make overall better lifestyle changes.