Teenage depression and substance abuse go hand in hand, yet both are treatable with the advancement in science. Not everyone who fights against depression will develop the habit of drug abuse and not everyone who is drug addicted is depressed. Both these illnesses can occur individually, and when they occur together, they must be treated in an effective way out by a specialist. It is very crucial to know the relationship between these two conditions as they often exacerbate each other.
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Depression in teens is always sparked by family conflicts or a traumatic event in the family making them feel insecure. Many of the pediatricians routinely ignore it one way or the other even when it is brought to their attention by the parents. Ultimately, people with depression end up using drugs to self-medicate.
Depression holds an important place in the process of developing drug addiction in teens. This is dangerous and even deadly in many cases. The teenage brain is like plastic that means it can be molded in anyway according to its exposure, experience, and need. It cuts back and develops new connections constantly to create the adult brain. The capability of learning and the process of emotional stimuli are interfered by depression. Obviously, the teens get isolated in their emotional world.
Depression is the common forerunner of adolescent drug abuse occurring at the time of peak vulnerability in the brain. Drug abuse interferes with normal functioning of the brain and making it seek more of the drug. In other words, depression causes brain to want more drugs and drugs in turn changes the brain for constant craving of the chemical.
Drug and alcohol abuse accounts to half of all deaths of adolescents in the age group of 15 to 24. Adolescents and teens should be routinely screened for depression and drug abuse.