Alcohol and Other Drugs
Most teens find themselves in situations where alcohol or other drugs are being used. But teens who are dealing with depression need to use extra caution in making decisions about alcohol and drug use.
People who are depressed may say they feel better when under the influence. There are a couple of problems with this:
- they might start to believe that they can only be relaxed when using drugs or alcohol (unrealistic thinking)
- being high or drunk makes it harder to learn and use new skills to deal with situations (poor problem solving).
Alcohol and other drugs affect how people think, feel and behave and so does depression. So combining substance use and depression is a double whammy. Also, if a person is taking medication, alcohol and other drugs can stop the medication from working or cause a serious side effect.
Alcohol and other drugs can bring on depression or make it worse.
If you are depressed and using alcohol or other drugs then you need to think it through carefully. If you are seeing a health professional, be honest and tell them. If you’re not seeing a professional, consider talking with your parents or a trusted adult. If alcohol or drug use is interfering with your life, deal with it along with the depression.