There are plenty of reasons why you turned to meth. It’s easy to fall back on the “experimentation” excuse, but the reasons for drug use tend to run deeper than that. Have you been struggling at work and wanted something to relieve your stress?
Or maybe meth seemed like an escape from all the depressing news headlines, political drama and economic turmoil.
Whatever your reason, meth may have seemed like a respite from everyday life. At least, that was your mindset until the high wore off.
In this blog, we’ll hit on how meth can actually lead to depression.
What Does Meth Do to Your Mood?
Methamphetamine (also known as meth or crystal meth) is a stimulant that affects the brain and spinal cord. When snorted or smoked, meth triggers a rush of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that are responsible for helping you feel good.
This flood of dopamine and norepinephrine is what leads to the euphoric and energetic high. For some people, meth use improves their confidence and overall mood. They feel empowered and are more socially active and outgoing than they typically would be. In short, the drug helps them feel on top of the world.
For others, the high isn’t about feeling good; rather, the drug blunts their emotions and gives them a break from any negative thoughts or feelings they’ve been struggling with.
Unfortunately, these short-lived pleasures come with consequences. Meth use can increase your mood at first, but long-term meth abuse and withdrawal symptoms can include delusions, aggression and even depression.
Can Meth Cause Depression?
According to the National Library of Medicine: “chronic use and/or at higher doses METH use often results in psychosis, depression, delusions and violent behavior.”
When dopamine and other feel-good chemicals are depleted after a meth high, your brain is unable to regulate your mood and you are trapped with severe feelings of sadness and hopelessness – feelings that are oftentimes worse than what they were before you used meth.
In cases where meth abuse is long-term, the drug can change the structure and functionality of the brain to the point where a major depressive disorder develops. This requires a dual diagnosis treatment approach in order to recover from meth and learn to manage depression symptoms.
Among recreational drugs, meth alters a person’s dopamine levels the most, contributing to its addictive nature.
A Vicious Cycle of Meth Use and Depression
Ongoing meth use can trap individuals in a vicious cycle of substance abuse and depression. As mentioned above, meth can, and oftentimes does, lead to a major depressive disorder due to the severe neurological changes the drug causes.
However, the interaction between meth and depression can also work in the other direction. Those who are already battling depression may see meth as a way to alleviate their symptoms, especially if antidepressants haven’t provided the relief they expected.
Unfortunately, those suffering from depression tend to experience even worse symptoms than before and can become reliant on meth for the short sprints of euphoria the drug can provide.
People struggling with depression should reach out to their doctor immediately to identify other ways to manage symptoms before turning to meth use. If you’re already struggling with meth addiction and experiencing depression, addiction treatment is the best way to recover and get your life back.
Seek Dual Diagnosis Treatment at The Raleigh House
At The Raleigh House, our many years of experience have shown that the majority of addictions come along with mental health challenges. No matter if your depression triggered your substance abuse or you developed a major depressive disorder because of your ongoing meth use, we can help.
We provide a gold standard continuum of care and a holistic approach to treatment designed to help you safely detox from meth, get to the bottom of your addiction and mental health challenges, and develop healthy and life-changing coping skills.
Are you ready to rewrite your story and rebuild a healthy, fulfilling life after addiction and depression?
Contact our admissions team today to learn how to get started.