Depression and Substance Abuse Treatment in Florida

Depression and substance abuse are overwhelming issues in America. Studies show about one-third of people diagnosed with major depression also have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Treatment centers for depression and substance abuse consistently help individuals increase their quality of life. To best understand treatment for depression and substance abuse, it is necessary to understand depression completely. 

What is Depression?

People diagnosed with depression experience symptoms for weeks, months, and even years in some cases. Depressive symptoms hinder many people’s day-to-day lives, impeding their ability to work and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many people struggling with depression feel hopeless or worthless, leading them to see “no end in sight.”

Depression can affect how you think, act, or feel. Many people with depression tend to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. It can cause many symptoms and tends to impact each individual differently. Therefore, treating depression and substance abuse can be challenging, but it can be life-changing with proper guidance.

Is it Sadness or Depression?

Most people experience low points and high points throughout their life. Feeling sad from time to time is part of what makes us human. In most cases, sadness is a normal reaction to difficult situations, problems, disappointment, or loss. These feelings tend to get better over time as the individual learns how to cope with them. If your negative emotions seem to be situational or do not impact your life in a big way, it may not be clinical depression.

Depression is a mood disorder that can interfere with the way you view yourself and how you relate to the world around you. Some people may experience depressive symptoms out of the blue, with no apparent trigger. A clinical depression diagnosis requires much more than just feeling sad or experiencing a low mood. People struggling with depression deal with long-lasting symptoms that typically do not go away on their own. Luckily, depression is treatable, and it is critical to seek help if you are concerned about depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Depression can be expressed in both physical and emotional signs and symptoms. People struggling with depression and substance abuse issues may experience even more severe versions of the following symptoms.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of interest in personal goals, work, and hobbies
  • Feeling pessimistic, hopeless, and useless
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms of severe depression may include:

  • Reckless behavior
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Using substances to cope with depression symptoms or triggers

Physical symptoms of depression may include:

  • Consistently low energy levels or fatigue
  • Decreased pain tolerance
  • Constant headaches
  • Aching muscles or back pain
  • Decreased vision or other eye issues
  • Abdomen or stomach pain
  • Digestive issues

When talking about depression, most people understand the mental and emotional pain associated with it. It is not uncommon for people to experience a physical manifestation of depression as a form of psychological distress.

Depression in Men vs. Women

Women are twice as likely as men to receive a depression diagnosis. While men and women with depression deal with similar symptoms, gender differences also play a role in the symptomatology of depression. For example:

Women are more likely to ruminate when depressed.

Rumination and rehearsing negative feelings are more common among women than men. This can involve self-blame, out-of-control crying, and negative self-talk. Studies show rumination does not help; in fact, it often makes people feel worse.

Women respond to stressful situations differently than men.

Some evidence suggests that women are more likely to become depressed following a stressful life event. Although it is not proven, studies suggest it may be because of women’s stress hormones. These include mood-regulating neurotransmitters and reproductive hormones.

Men are more likely to use drugs or alcohol to deal with symptoms of depression.

Depressed men tend to use substances to self-medicate before the onset of depression. This is especially true for young men. Depression and substance abuse are a dangerous combination, and treatment is essential for people struggling with co-occurring disorders.

Men are more likely to commit suicide.

Men typically experience symptoms longer before being diagnosed with depression. Because of this, some conditions may develop into more severe cases of depression. If you or someone you love deals with depression, the time to seek help is now.

depression and substance abuse

What Are the Different Types of Depression?

There are several different types of depression. Some forms of depression stem from life events, while others may relate to changes in brain chemistry. Mental health professionals can help figure out what type of depression you may be dealing with. This can help decide the best treatment for you. 

Major Depression

Major depression is also called major depressive disorder. Medical professionals diagnose people with major depression if they feel depressed for most days of the week, for an extended period. Your doctor may go over several symptoms with you, monitoring how many symptoms you have. Major depression symptoms include:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Trouble making decisions and concentrating
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Feeling tired all day while having trouble sleeping at night
  • Feeling physically and mentally sluggish


Dysthymia is a milder form of depression. People with dysthymia feel gloomy and moody for more than one year. It is not uncommon for dysthymia to develop into major depression, especially if the struggling individual uses substances to cope. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression characterized by light variations usually occurring in the wintertime. People with a SAD diagnosis exhibit mood changes, overeating, anxiety, sleeplessness for over three consecutive winter seasons.

Atypical Depression

People with atypical depression experience drastic mood shifts. Positive events may lead them to feel uplifted. However, they may easily slip back into low points. These low points may be so severe that the individual feels as though life is not worth living. Atypical depression and substance abuse can lead to serious behavioral and emotional problems. 

The Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

A nationwide study found that 20% of individuals suffering from alcoholism also meet the criteria for a depressive disorder. The survey also expressed that people seeking alcoholism treatment were over 40% more likely to have a comorbid disorder. Unfortunately, many people with depression look to substances like alcohol to self-medicate. Alcohol use while depressed intensifies feelings of depression and lethargy. 

Depression and substance abuse in an individual substantially increases the likelihood one would attempt suicide. Alcohol impairs judgment and, after a long period, can alter brain chemistry. This combination is extremely dangerous in people suffering from depression. Many people suffering from depression find short-term ease when using substances, but the effects are misleading. Alcohol and drug use can seriously worsen the course of depression, and it can even cause the disorder to develop into an even more debilitating disorder. 

Treatment Options for Depression and Substance Abuse

At Intrepid Detox, we can help you or your loved one find a treatment program for depression and substance abuse. When looking for treatment, it is essential to understand the levels of care each treatment center offers. Treatment centers for depression can have a large impact on an individual’s life. Many programs catered to depression and substance abuse utilize proven holistic and traditional methods. 


Detox programs are generally the first step you take after joining treatment for depression and substance abuse. The detoxification process ensures each person beginning treatment has a sober body and mind. Some substances have dangerous withdrawal symptoms after stopping use. Therefore, medical professions help guide clients through withdrawal symptoms, making the process as comfortable as possible.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment works well for people dealing with moderate to severe substance use. Inpatient treatment, also known as residential rehabilitation, offers live-in facilities with medical and clinical supervision around the clock. Inpatient programs typically last from one to three months. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is often used as a follow-up treatment after the completion of an inpatient program. This less intensive form of treatment lets people continue their life responsibilities while still benefiting from the support of a treatment program. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Almost every treatment center for depression offers dual diagnosis treatment. Depression and substance abuse are classified as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis are interchangeable terms. 

Almost half of the people participating in treatment suffer from co-occurring disorders. Common co-occurring disorders generally include addiction and depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health disorders. Patients with co-occurring issues require more intensive treatment, but dual diagnosis treatment centers use proven techniques to break down each disorder. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a valuable tool in treating patients with depression and substance abuse issues. In treatment, patients participate in individual counseling programs where they work one-on-one with licensed therapists. Therapists help guide their patients through difficult emotions, challenges, and behaviors, helping them break unhealthy cognitive habits. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, was created to cover the limitations of CBT. DBT is helpful for patients with challenging conditions to treat. Instead of changing behaviors and thoughts like CBT, DBT techniques encourage patients to accept their cognitive state. Dialectical behavior therapy practitioners help patients develop skills relating to distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and overall mindfulness. 


Find Help For Depression and Substance Abuse at Intrepid Detox

Call us today. 844.684.0795

Dual diagnosis treatment for depression and substance abuse has changed the course of many people’s lives. Even depression alone can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, there is treatment, and it can help you. At Intrepid Detox, we believe everyone deserves help. Please reach out today if you or a loved one are looking for treatment centers for depression and substance abuse.

Call us today. 844.684.0795