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Ask Michelle - Questions & Answers about Meth Addiction and Recovery

  • Mar
    20

    Depression and Relapse

    Question:
    If someone is depressed from stopping the drug, how can I prevent them to turning back to it?

    Answer:
    Depression and anxiety are very common symptoms when a person stops using drugs or alcohol. It takes a long time for a person's body to mentally, emotionally, and physically heal after using meth or any other substance. The longer a person used, how often and how heavy can all play a role in the severity of depression and how long the symptoms can last. If the depression gets too bad the person needs to see their doctor and be honest about their drug use. The doctor may be able to help them with their symptoms if they understand the circumstances that led to depression.

    You can be there for that person to talk to, to help keep them focused on their abstinence and recovery, and to give them moral support. Unfortunately you can only help them this way you can't prevent them from using again. Only they can make the choice to use or not to use. Joining a support group like NA can be a lot of help for someone quitting meth because they are with people who understand what they're going through. They help each other maintain abstinence from drug use and they learn from each other. This could also help with depression, support groups can be empowering and uplifting because they're not alone and they help each other.

    Followup Question:
    My sister has been using meth for about a year now and is suffering from depression. However, her depression and other circumstances led to her use of meth. If treatment is available for her, what would you recommend her seeing first, a therapist to treat her depression or a drug counselor to treat her meth habit?

    Answer:
    This is referred to as a dual diagnosis, that's when someone is dependent on drugs and suffering from mental issues like depression (before drug use started). This is very common and why drug treatment doesn't work unless both the depression and drug issues are diagnosed and treated at the same time. It would be very beneficial for your sister to receive treatment for her depression at the same time she receives drug counseling. Meth use causes depression also, if your sister has a problem with depression normally and now going through depression due to meth use, this can be serious. I hope she can get help for both at the same time. Combining the two treatments will really make a huge difference in terms of recovery.


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