Drug Addiction and Stress Go Hand in Hand

It is hard enough to be fighting a drug addiction, but when you are addicted to drugs you also have an increased risk of dealing with a stress disorder.

A new study suggests you are more susceptible to depression if you struggle with substance abuse. Researchers found that the "reward region" of the brain does not receive the positive trigger as well if a person is exposed to a controlled substance. In fact, in most cases the trigger has a negative effect on the brain and often could be labeled as a direct cause for depression.

When researchers gave mice cocaine every day for a week they were more likely than the control group without the drug to show actions similar to depression after being exposed to a stressful situation and aggressive behavior from other mice. When certain particles in their brain were adjusted, mice could ward off the symptoms of depression based on whether they were the control or experimental group.

In addition, the study found that the mice that were injected with cocaine were less likely to interact with the other mice in a social atmosphere, thus showing symptoms of depression.

When applying these same tests to humans, it obviously is not as simple. Researchers found that when studying humans with depression that the part of the brain that would regulate their mood was often altered so it would be difficult for the individual to fight a drug addiction with the already altered state of their brain due to the stress disorder.

The study concludes that if you struggle with chemical dependency, then depression is heightened thus the two ailments spiral out of control feeding one another.

Posted on February 9th, 2012
Posted in Articles

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