Depressive symptoms severe enough to interfere with daily living is present in as much as seventy percent of people with drug dependency . In addition, there is more prevalence prevalent in male relatives and unipolar depression more prevalent in female relatives as suggested by early family history studies that say that drug related disorders and unipolar depression run together in families with drug addiction. These trends led some researchers to disagree that drug addiction and depression are genetically linked, or perhaps one disorder, and that many male drug addicts are actually depressed and denying their depression, or self-medicating with drugs.
Although many people with drug related problems appear to use drugs to cope with daily stresses and emotional distress, it is almost certainly not wise to consider drug addiction as simply another form of depression for several reasons. First, although a drug addicts’ offsprings do have higher rates of depression, these depressions might result more from the stresses of having drug addicted parents than from genetics. Second, as one would suspect if depression and drug addiction were genetically related , several family history studies have failed to find higher rates of drug addiction among the offspring of depressed people than among the offspring of nondepressed people . Third, because there are drugs that are central nervous system depressant, it can cause the classic symptoms of depression. Thus, when depression and drug dependency co-occur in individuals, the depression is just as likely to be a consequence as a cause of the drug dependency. Indeed, a large epidemiological study finds that the odds of depression preceding drug addiction are equal to the odds that drug addiction will precede depression. Fourth, if drug addiction is often a response to drug addiction, adolescents who are depressed are not more likely to become drug addicts than are adolescents who are not depressed as we might expect. This is according to several studies. Fifth, simply prescribing antidepressant medications to a person with drug abuse or dependency is not enough to help him or her overcome the drug related problems in the long run. Unless he or she undergoes treatment directly targeted at drug use., the risk of relapse is high. Sixth, depression, depression among drug addicts usually vanishes once they become abstinent, even without any antidepressant treatment, again signifying that depression is secondary to the drug addiction, rather than its cause. Seventh, drug addiction co-occur with a wide range of other psychological disorders in addition to depression, including bipolar disorder, the personality disorders, the anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia, as well as histories of physical or sexual abuse.
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