Promises & Dr. David Sack featured on:
Depression and Anxiety
Research shows that one in three people with depression also suffer from substance abuse or dependence. This is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis, and it is extremely common. At Promises, we recognize that depression/anxiety and substance abuse often go hand in hand, so each client is thoroughly assessed to ensure that both disorders are being treated.
Depression and anxiety are also major factors in relapse, so Promises makes it a priority to give clients all the resources they need to continue treatment for depression or anxiety—and substance dependency—after they leave Promises.
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"Anxiety and depression symptoms, including panic attacks and phobias, most often start before a person begins using alcohol or drugs, and many people end up turning to substances to self-medicate," said Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers in West Los Angeles and Malibu. "For example, instead of seeing a psychologist or talking to a doctor about taking anti-depressants, they’ll use substances to try to alter their mood. But in the long run, this creates even more problems, as many substances can actually worsen depression and anxiety."
Drugs like marijuana and alcohol slow brain functioning and impair cognitive abilities, which can lead to depression. "Coming down off highs from drugs like cocaine and opiates can also result in a deep depression, which often leads people to use again, creating a harmful cycle," said Dr. Sack. "Cocaine, Ecstasy, and marijuana have been known to induce anxiety and panic attacks in some people, and drugs like LSD and methamphetamines can result in hallucinations and extreme paranoia," he added.
An estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression, meaning that many of these people are also predisposed to substance abuse. In addition, because depression is a genetic disorder, people with depression in their family should also be aware of the risk of developing not only depression, but also a substance-abuse disorder.
If you are suffering from substance dependency, you may want to think about whether you’re also suffering from depression or anxiety, and vice versa (if you suffer from depression or anxiety, consider whether you have a substance-abuse problem). Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability and restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, including sex
- Change in appetite, including overeating and appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that don’t go away with treatment
- Feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Tendency to worry about everything and expecting the worst
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Stomach problems, nausea, or diarrhea
- Jumpiness, edginess, or restlessness
- Tiring easily
- Feelings of dread
- Inability to control anxious thoughts
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension, aches, and soreness
"Identifying co-occurring disorders such as substance dependency and depression or anxiety is critical for successful, long-term recovery, and Promises’ evidence-based approach in treating dual diagnosis is one of the strengths that sets us apart from other treatment centers," said Dr. Sack.
"We create an individualized treatment plan for each client, making sure that all underlying issues are addressed and treated, and we cull the best resources in the area to provide continuing treatment for both depression or anxiety and substance dependency."