Most people experience down periods in their lives that pass or can be remedied by activities that make them happy. However, if you struggle with depression, these emotional low points may not disappear easily.
When depression is combined with a substance use disorder, it can be even more difficult to treat. One recent study has shown promise for both addiction and depression treated with the combination of two drugs.
The Combination of Addiction and Depression
According to the latest figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 8.5 million adults in the U.S. have both a substance use disorder and a mental illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 10 percent of Americans suffer from depression.
Depression and substance use disorders are tough enough to deal with alone. Together, their negative effects can multiply. For example, the lifetime risk of suicide for those with depression is about 10 percent. It is about the same for a substance use disorder. When combined, the risk of suicide soars to about 1 in 4.
Depression can also trigger a substance use relapse. Additionally, alcohol and drugs can interfere with the effectiveness of treatment for depression. It is vital that both conditions be treated simultaneously, and a new study shows promise with a combination-drug treatment.
Yale Study Results
Researchers at Yale University have tested a combination of naltrexone and ketamine to treat the symptoms of depression and substance use disorders. Naltrexone is a drug that limits cravings for alcohol and opioids. Ketamine was added in the belief that it would stimulate opiate receptors and produce antidepressant effects.
The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, involved five patients who were given a combination of long-acting naltrexone and a low dose of ketamine. After multiple treatments, all five found relief from depression. Researchers caution that a larger study will need to be done to confirm the beneficial effects of treating addiction and depression simultaneously with a combination of drugs.
Where to Turn for Help With a Substance Use Disorder and Depression
When a substance use disorder occurs alongside any mental health issue, it is vital that both be treated concurrently. Both disorders create a complex host of symptoms that are best identified and managed by a team of medical, mental health and addiction specialists for the safety and well-being of the client.
If you are struggling with addiction and depression, this is not a battle that you need to fight in isolation. At The Recovery Village, specialists create a personalized treatment plan that considers your needs and circumstances so that you have the best opportunity to recover from both disorders. Call 352.771.2700 to speak to one of our intake coordinators today.