Depression and Substance Abuse Treatment in Colorado
Depression and substance abuse disorders are two of the most common mental issues that have been plaguing Americans for the past few decades. In 2021, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) revealed that at least 20.4 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder, and only 10.3% of that number received any kind of treatment for the condition.
Mental Health America (MHA), on the other hand, notes that almost 50 million Americans suffer from one form of mental health issue or another, with at least 10% of the entire populace suffering from depression.
At Jaywalker Lodge in Carbonadale, Colorado, our rehab facility specializes in treating people with co-occurring disorders. Depression and substance abuse are the most common dual diagnoses plaguing Americans. Learn how our treatment programs can help.
What is Addiction?
Most people who hear the word “addiction” will immediately picture someone with a substance abuse disorder, where the person is helplessly hooked on chronically taking illicit drugs. This is the most definition and perception relevant to the term addiction, although this condition involves far more than just the illicit use of medications and substances.
A more accurate definition of addiction would be a mental disorder where the person suffers from a physical or psychological need to chronically do, use, or ingest something up to the point where it is already harmful.
Addictions are typically characterized by the person continuing to engage in the addiction even if it is already causing significant damage or trouble. Addictions do not exclusively involve repeated use of medications or alcohol. It could also be focused on activities, such as gambling, shopping, lying, and even working.
Addiction is treatable with the help of a reputable rehab in Carbondale, Colorado. Although the duration and efficacy of treatment would largely depend on some factors, such as the severity of the addiction and on nuances of the person with the addiction. Some people can work up enough strength of will to permanently kick whatever bad habit they developed, while others repeatedly fall back on what they are trying to quit.
Various rehabilitation facilities have conducted interviews on the patients that sought help with medical detox and recovery in an attempt to understand and document the various risks that could lead a person down the road of substance abuse. Some of the more common risks include:
- Traits of high impulsivity
- Inclination towards rebelliousness
- Emotional regulation impairment
- Low or nonexistent religious belief or inclination
- Previous exposure to catastrophic pain that led to trauma
- Being maltreated while young
- Negative upbringing
- Psychiatric disorders such as conduct problems and major depressive disorder
- Environmental exposure to chronic drug or alcohol users
- Personality with a high tendency towards behavioral addiction
- Impaired or low ability to perceive personal risk
- High accessibility of substances for illicit use
- Prenatal maternal use of drugs or alcohol
- Poor maternal psychological discipline
- Low parental education
- Poor supervision
- Unregulated or ill-advised use of money
Presence of substance-using family members or peers
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder that causes persistent feelings of intense sadness, a general loss of interest in most things, and a preference to engage in self-isolation. People who suffer from depression usually experience “bouts” of it or periods that could last for anywhere between a few days to several months.
This disorder may cause significant emotional and psychological effects that could interfere with everything in daily life, such as getting up in the morning, eating, going to school or work, interacting with people, and even trying to sleep at the end of the day. It may also manifest physical symptoms such as unexplained pain, disruption of sleeping and eating patterns, significant weight gain or loss, and a persistent lack of energy.
Depression may become increasingly debilitating for many people, as they become unable to concentrate, are overcome with feelings of complete worthlessness, get bothered by excessive guilt, or even fall victim to recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Other symptoms of depression may include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
- Drastic changes in eating habits lead to severe weight gain or loss
- Disruption of sleep patterns
- Increased risk of developing a substance abuse disorder
- Feelings of constant fatigue
- Varying degrees of lethargy
- Noticeable slowed movement or speech
- Impaired judgment
- Inability to focus
- Tendency to engage in self-harm
- Increased risk-taking
- Noticeable loss of self-preservation instincts
- Suicide ideation
What are the Risk Factors for Depression?
Psychologists stress that no one is born with depression, although there are people who are born with an increased risk of developing it at some point. This mental health condition is not limited to typical factors attributed to a “depressing” life, such as poverty, chronic illness, abuse, or lack of good opportunities. Some factors are being seen as instrumental in the possibility of a person developing depression, including:
The disruption of the natural chemical balance of the brain is known to produce marked alterations in behavior, mood, and even personality. This disruption often leads to numerous disorders such as anxiety, depression, personality shifts, and other issues. Thus far, medications have proven to be effective at some point to restore a semblance of balance to people who suffer in this manner, as demonstrated by those who take antidepressants and antipsychotics to prevent the more pronounced symptoms of their condition.
Studies into the medical history of people with mental health issues have shown that there is a high probability that depression could be inherited if a first-degree family member has it. While the genetic markers that determine this probability have not been accurately mapped out yet, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that depression could be inherited, or at the very least, the high tendency to develop it. These genetic markers are also seen as indicators of other mental health issues that are passed down through the generations in the family lineage.
While many have argued that using the environment as a determiner for certain negative developments is prejudicial and unfair, exposure to violent events, great loss, neglect, or chronic abuse has always proved to be significant markers for negative outcomes. This is also seen as a major influence on the development of depression in a person. This is particularly true if the person was never able to fully process whatever negative environmental factors they were exposed to. The best examples are the war veterans who have seen and experienced the horrors of combat and death firsthand. People who have suffered a significantly tragic event in their lives such as an accident or the loss of something or someone they considered to be irreplaceable have also been observed as developing depression after some time.
Can Depression and Addiction Occur at the Same Time?
A person who has the misfortune of suffering both a mental health issue, such as depression, and a substance abuse disorder at the same time is said to have a dual diagnosis. Researchers and medical experts are desperately trying to determine the reason why more and more people are suffering from co-occurring mental health issues and addiction, as having to deal with one is already immensely difficult, let alone having both together.
This condition is becoming more of a problem today as it appears to be occurring more frequently. Both conditions need to be treated, as treating only one before the other could only make the other condition even worse.
In the case of a dual diagnosis, trying to determine which condition occurred first could prove to be extremely difficult since the prevailing and most prominent symptoms of one condition could be masking or “overlapping” with the other. Many experts believe that in dual diagnosis, having one condition does not necessarily mean that it is the cause of the other, although there are instances wherein this is the case.
There is a standing belief in the medical profession that while mental health conditions might not directly lead to substance abuse, they could become a major contributing factor. This is supported by data taken from treatment centers that suggest substance abuse tends to be twice as prevalent among those who already have particular mental health issues, as a symptom of these mental issues includes a desire to self-medicate. In these instances, self-medication is seen as a way to keep their condition a secret.
How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?
A dual diagnosis will require mental health and drug addiction treatment that allows both conditions to be addressed at the same time, as treating only one condition at a time could make it more difficult, or even impossible to treat the other condition later. In some cases, the successful treatment of only one condition could cause the other condition to bring back the condition thought to have been treated at a later time.
There is a need for specific psychotherapy approaches that address the perception of the problem and also help in the development of coping mechanisms in instances of dual diagnosis treatment in Colorado.
Individual therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a trained professional works with an individual in working through mental health issues. This approach is an effective treatment for various emotional difficulties and mental issues as the person is given the full attention of the therapist, in an environment that is most conducive to one-on-one talk therapy. Individual therapy sessions give people a comfortable environment that allows them to talk about their issues.
This approach involves multiple patients receiving treatment at the same time. Group therapy can be used for a variety of conditions including emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and even alcohol and substance abuse disorders. This type of treatment is widely accepted as being very effective as it removes the feeling of isolation from the participants. It also assures them that they are not alone in what they are going through.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach that is based on the premise that a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected. It also suggests that negative thoughts and feelings can imprison a person in a negative cycle where they repeat the process of doing something bad, suffer from it, and then do it all over again. CBT aims to isolate these negative thoughts and behaviors so that they may be addressed and so that the negative cycle may be broken.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is based on CBT and is aimed at helping people recognize destructive emotions and regulate these emotions. This approach works on the premise that people often do things they regret because they are unable to deal with their emotions, with these emotions causing the person to act irrationally and in a destructive manner.
Jaywalker Lodge Can Help You with Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Unconventional issues, such as a dual diagnosis, could require unconventional methods of treatment. This is what we specialize in at Jaywalker Lodge in Carbondale, CO. We use a combination of innovative approaches, an excellent environment, and the natural healing aid of nature in dealing with the concerns of our patients.