Jane Powell Scrapbook essay writing tips

Substance Abuse And Depression

The question has been asked whether or not depression and drug abuse are related. My opinion is that they are. Not only have studies shown the relation between brain chemicals and drug use, but my own experiences attest to the fact that drugs do cause depression. We know from scientific studies that drugs over-stimulate the serotonin gland within the brain—leaving it depleted of the ‘happiness hormone’ for a time after. Since we know how these drugs operate, what can we do to rehabilitate those who are victims of addiction?

Are the two related?

Drug abuse and depression are unavoidably related. Prolonged use of any drug-like substance such as cocaine, meth, or alcohol leads to dependence in many people. After a while, the brain starts to require the addictive substance as the only means of satisfaction. Without that substance, the brain will fall into a state of despair; until the next fix that is.

Serotonin depletion

All drugs stimulate the serotonin gland in the brain. Serotonin has often been referred to as the happiness hormone. When this hormone floods our brains because of the drug we are taking, it makes us feel ‘overly’ happy. Too much of a good thing is usually bad, and in this case it is true. Because once the substance has worn off, the brain is left depleted of this ‘feel good’ hormone. Now all that is left is an initial feeling of numbness, which invariably leads to depression.


Proper rehabilitation from drug abuse takes a long time. That’s because it can take months for the chemicals in the brain to regain balance. For this reason, rehabilitation is best done without the use of alternative medication. While some drugs are too strong to go off ‘cold turkey’ without medical supervision, most should be weaned off without the help of other substances. The brain is a marvellous thing, and will revert back to its normal state if the user sticks to not using.

Because of the chemical factors influenced by drug abuse, we must conclude that depression and drug abuse are closely related. Many drug users complain about depression and it is a common condition among alcoholics and even smokers. Weaning oneself off these substances is the best way to attain a normal, balanced state of mind—one void of depression and anxiety.

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