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Understanding the link between addiction recovery and depression

Addiction recovery and depression often go hand in hand. Depressive disorder impacts about 17.3 million American adults yearly, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population above 18. This number is significantly higher in those that are in an addiction recovery service. There are several reasons that the two of these are linked together.


A common reason many individuals amid recovery are diagnosed with depression is that many people are not diagnosed with a mental illness beforehand, even though they already have it. Those same people often turn to alcohol abuse or other substances to find relief from the symptoms they are experiencing.

Brain Chemicals

Your brain consistently produces feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin. When a person abuses substances, like alcohol, they create a flood of these chemicals, which is why people feel euphoric. However, your brain realizes too many chemicals in the brain and begins to accommodate that by producing less. After detoxing, it takes time for your brain to know it needs to make these chemicals again. In the meantime, depression can be a side effect.

Relapse Chance

While depression and addiction can go hand in hand, it’s essential to understand that depression can increase your risk of a relapse. Your brain knows it needs those chemicals to handle stress, so you may want to do whatever you can to get them without realizing it. If you have depression, an addiction recovery service must address both.

Integrated Treatment

Because depression can significantly impact recovery, it’s essential to utilize addiction recovery services that address the complete diagnosis. Treatment should include options regarding addiction, but it’s equally important to address depression and other mental illnesses simultaneously to help prevent relapse.


Aftercare is an essential part of addressing recovery and addiction. After going through detox, continued therapies to address depression and promote recovery help decrease the chances of a relapse. These therapies can assist those in recovery by learning new lifestyle changes and other tools to help them address their mental illness.

We offer an addiction recovery service that provides integrative treatment for those suffering from addiction, a dual diagnosis, and those needing a detox. We’re here for you during every step of recovery. Contact Peace Medical to learn more about the services we provide today.

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