How Drug Use Can Contribute to Depression
Depression is a common side effect of many prescription and street drugs. It is a highly common symptom, especially when someone quits taking a medication or drug they are tolerant to. Some medications can actually cause depression, while others cause depression upon discontinuing use.
Prescription Medications That Cause Depression
The following prescribed medications can lead to severe depression:
- Accutane—this is a drug that treats severe, painful acne. It is highly controversial for its potential for depression and suicidal thoughts. This drug can affect serotonin levels and cause depression during use and when not in use.
- Chantix—this prescription helps tobacco smokers quit their addictions. While the idea seems wonderful at first, the side effects (including depression) are severe. The drug is used to stop the receptors in the brain from craving nicotine, but really only eases the withdrawal symptoms. As the drug stops the receptors and the user wants to smoke, depression and thoughts of suicide may develop.
- Ambien—this treats insomnia and reportedly causes serious depression which leads to suicidal thoughts. The drug stops your central nervous system so you can sleep, but in turn it can shake up the chemicals in your brain, leading to depression.
While some people may believe prescription drugs do not cause long-term problems, this is not the case.
Street Drugs That Cause Depression
The following street drugs also cause depression, however the more severe depression often occurs during withdrawals:
- Cocaine—this drug directly impacts the brain’s dopamine levels, which is the body’s chemical that causes happiness and pleasure. When using cocaine, the body and brain stop creating dopamine, at which point the user will require more cocaine to feel happy. When users experience withdrawals, the brain lacks enough dopamine to feel good, which often leads to depression.
- Amphetamines—also known as speed, amphetamines stimulate the brain, causing users to feel more productive and efficient. Upon stopping the drug, users will feel lazy, tired and have an increased appetite. This can cause serious depression as the brain has been used to being wired during use.
- Alcohol—this causes the most depression, as the feeling of being drunk wears off quickly. In order to avoid depression, users continue to drink to feel happy and relaxed. When stopping alcohol use, the body and brain no longer feel they have a chemical to produce happy feelings, which leads to depression.
It is important to understand that any and all forms of drug use, both medical and recreational, can cause serious side effects. Depression can change a user’s lifestyle and family life. A drug high is not worth risking the potential to hold a user hostage. Being informed of prescriptions is a must, and the use of any recreational drug is never safe.
Help with Addiction and Depression
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