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The Connection Between Depression and Drug Abuse: What Defendants Need to Understand

The link between depression and substance abuse is well-known. The relationship is bi-directional: When a person is depressed, they are more likely to develop substance abuse problems, just as a person with substance abuse problems are more likely to be depressed.

After an arrest, defendants must be particularly careful to watch for signs of falling into depression or increased substance abuse. An arrest can take a significant toll on your mental health. Many people become depressed as they deal with the fallout and find themselves turning more and more to drugs or alcohol to cope.

How to Tell if You Have a Problem

Signs of depression include:

  • extreme exhaustion/low energy
  • lacking interest in activities
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • suicidal thoughts.

Signs of substance abuse include:

  • Needing to use the drug daily or multiple times a day
  • Having intense urges for the drug
  • Needing more of the drug to get the same effect over time
  • Taking ever-increasing amounts of the drug over time
  • Making sure that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Buying the drug, although you can’t afford it.

What to do if you’re depressed or have a drug abuse problem

Depression and substance abuse can substantially affect your life–and your pending legal case. Either or both can lead you to make poor decisions, miss important deadlines, and not present yourself well in the courtroom. If you’ve been arrested and think you might be slipping into a depression or abusing controlled substances, here’s what you need to know.

Seek Help from a Health Professional

Whether you’re depressed or abusing drugs, the right health professional can help you get back on track. An experienced mental health expert can help you identify the roots of your problem and show you how to deal with the situation in a healthier manner. A medical professional can assess your physical health and point you toward resources to help you get your substance abuse problem under control.

Seek a support group

You’re not alone in this situation, although you might feel that way. Join an in-person or online support group of people facing similar issues. You’d be surprised at how much stronger you may feel after talking to those who know what you’re going through.

Try meditation

Meditation is the practice of learning to acknowledge your feelings without judging them and keeping your thoughts in the present. An increasing number of scientific studies show that meditation can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. If you haven’t meditated before, dozens of online sites offer guided meditations to help you start.

If you have been arrested, gain peace of mind by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call the qualified criminal defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates to learn how to best defend yourself and protect your rights. We are ready to fight for you. Contact us today.

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