Drugs and Depression APA

Abstract A person may be suffering from depressive symptoms and use narcotics with the hope of acquiring some kind of relief. Depressive symptoms can develop as a result of using mind altering substances or as part of withdrawal symptoms when taking breaks from drugs. Low mood in withdrawal can be short and self-limiting, though sometimes it may lead to a very serious and prolonged depressive illness. A person will take drugs to escape or forget a problem in a particularly stressful time of their life. Stress can also be a trigger to an episode of depression.

Heavy use of narcotics may lead to a major financial situation, difficulty with personal relationships and possibly problems with the law. A person using recreational drugs could be more likely to have such pressures as these, which can cause depression. Drug use is particularly in many other psychiatric illnesses, such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other anxiety disorders or phobias that may also have symptoms of depression, even if what caused such problems was not depression itself. THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS AND DEPRESSION3.


In many cases, recreational or illegal narcotics may have a major depressant believe that they have a good effect on them, though this is not always the case. There are certain chemicals which are altered during depression. Narcotics also have affect to these chemicals, which is why drugs will alter how we perceive and feel. Dopamine is affected from cocaine, amphetamines and/or ecstasy. Noradrenaline, or Norepinephrine, is affected by amphetamines and opiates (such as heroin or morphine). Seratonin, or 5-HT, is also affected by ecstasy and LSD.

It is largely dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline that antidepressant medication will work to its full affects. Many people will often take more than one drug at once, while also mixing it with alcohol, which in and of itself is a depressant. This can make it difficult to tell precisely which drug is affecting an individual’s emotions. Doctors do, however, have a pretty good idea of what each narcotic can do due to research in individuals that have taken one drug at a time.



In order to be able to treat a person with depression effectively, doctors have to sort out what kind of role the narcotics may play in the depression. If the feelings of depression is simply a part of a withdrawal due to a narcotic and are only something temporary, it is very unlikely that a antidepressant will be of any benefit. Antidepressants take a bare minimum of two to three weeks to begin working. The most effective treatment in such a case would be to try and help the person at hand to get their drug use under control or stop entirely.

Both taking drugs and the withdrawal process may produce depressive symptoms themselves, makingit very difficult to know what it is that’s exactly going on, if it even seems that the depression led to taking drugs in the first place. As a result, It’s extremely vital to the treatment of the individual that the problem with narcotics is sorted out so that is will be possible to further judge whether antidepressants or other treatments used for depression will be needed.

This, of course, does not mean it’s impossible to effectively treat the depression when someone is still taking drugs, though it does make it difficult. THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS AND DEPRESSION5 Bibliography http://www. webmd. com/depression/guide/medicines-cause-depression http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs http://psychcentral. com/lib/depression-and-substance-abuse-the-chicken-or-the-egg/0003570 PSYCHOLOGY Custom Edition for Bergen Community College: (pages 150-151, chapter 4, altered states 4. 7 & 4. 8)