How to help someone with Depression and Drug Addiction

Depres­­­sion and Drug Addiction coexist in many people at the same time. One can lead to the other. When people are depressed, they seek ways through which they can escape, and hence many of them find solace in drugs. Drug addiction is a serious illness that many people suffer from. And the people who are addicted are also often depressed. They often take drugs as an escape from reality and pain so they won’t have to face it. Once they get hooked on drugs, it is very hard to help them, but there are ways through which one my extend help to suffering individuals.

 

Looking for Signs

When a person is depressed, or they have started taking drugs, some behaviors such as listed below can be taken as pointers.

  • Change in behavior
  • Mood Swings
  • Distancing themselves from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities that they liked
  • Lack in self-maintenance
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite

These are the few behavioral signs that are easily noticeable. They may start acting erratically or peculiarly because of the drugs. They can start being a little secretive, always on a little edge feeling like someone’s watching them. Many drugs can make them paranoid. Since drugs take you someplace else or stop you from thinking rationally, you can also see their behavior tilting towards carelessness. There are some drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, which act as stimulants. That can cause them to go very long periods without eating anything and even sleeping. People who are depressed and addicted are often malnourished.

What you can do to help them 

Establishing Trust:

You must gain their trust, and they gain yours. It is a two-way street. You have to make sure they understand that you are on their side. Without the element of trust, they won’t believe your motives behind helping. It is very hard to even consider the addiction as a problem to themselves, and admitting and talking about to someone would be even more difficult. You have to ensure that they know that you have their back.

Communication and Being Available for them:

How you talk to the person going through the addiction matters a lot. The tone, the words, the way you pass your message to them, all are important. They should not feel like they are being targeted or lectured. Establish a safe environment for them where they can talk freely about their issues.

Being the person that they now trust means that they will depend on you to be there and talk. This is an important part where you set certain boundaries of personal space. This ensures that they will have to work on things too.

Get them Professional Help:

This only works if they are willing. You can help them set appointments with therapists and join support groups. You can also assist them during these processes as this might seem too much for. Getting them a sponsor will help a great deal as they are experts in tackling these matters.