Teen drug use and depression sometimes go hand-in-hand. Some individuals may turn to drugs in order to “self-medicate” feelings of depression. Drugs often provide a powerful feeling of euphoria, well-being or razor-sharp focus. Unfortunately, once these temporary effects wear off, the depression symptoms are often felt more strongly than ever. This leads to a vicious cycle of psychological (and possibly physical) drug dependence as a person attempts to diminish or self-manage feelings of depression. But teens generally abuse the substances that are easiest for them to get, and for many teens it’s easier to drink their parent’s alcohol than to experiment with drugs. Alcohol numbs the feelings of depression for a short while, providing temporary relief. However, alcohol is a depressant, and its use is never a healthy or long-term solution for depression. In fact, it is illegal for minors to possess or drink alcohol, and Texas drinking and driving laws crack down on its use via sobriety checkpoints.
Finding Help for Teens
If you are concerned that your teen is depressed and possibly self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, don’t wait for him or her to be arrested to address the problem. Drug rehab and rehab for depression in teens are two options at your disposal. Drug rehab will focus on helping your teen get sober and learn a healthier way of living. Drug rehab is usually an inpatient, residential program. Teen-only programs do not put teens and adults in the same rehab programs. This is so that teens can feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings and speaking up. Rehab for depression is usually done on an outpatient basis and addresses the mental health symptoms that teens try to treat with drug use. Medications and therapies are typically used in conjunction for depression treatment. The best treatment program for teens who suffer from both depression and drug addiction is a “dual diagnosis” program. These rehabs recognize that both issues are intimately connected and that both need to be resolved to avoid relapse and to avoid future run-ins with Texas drinking and driving laws. If you are not sure what your next steps should be to help your teen, please call us for a confidential consultation.