Recovery Blog

What if I Take Medication for Depression and Need to Detox from Opioids or Alcohol?

Wellness Residential Counseling and Detox | Depression and Addiction | Woman with headache considering taking pills
11 Sep

The Link Between Depression and Addiction

Detoxing from opioids is a very difficult and emotionally wrenching process. However, having to go through drug detox when you’ve been diagnosed with another condition, such as depression, can create an even more complex situation. Although the endeavor might require a more multi-layered approach, research shows that success with both detox and depression maintenance is possible. In fact, since relapse among opioid detoxers who suffer from depression is quite common, it’s actually advisable to treat both conditions concurrently.

The Good News About Depression Medication and Opiate Detox

It may seem somewhat counterintuitive to remain on any type of medication when you’re going through alcohol withdrawal or opiate rehab. But, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, not only are several types of medicinal drugs very effective in treating opiate detox disorders, but the most commonly used drug detox and alcohol treatment medications have been shown to substantially improve depression. On the other hand, the jury is still out on whether the use of antidepressants along with any drug detox medications is a help or hindrance to the outpatient rehab experience.

Because of its track record of success, treatment with an opiate detox medication is often used exclusively to treat both the addiction and depression. However, if this mode of treatment proves unsuccessful, then, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, antidepressant medications are sometimes introduced and used along with the opiate treatment in a closely monitored environment, followed by an evaluation period.

Depression Doesn’t Have To Postpone Sobriety. Call Our 24/7 Helpline at 855-885-5870

Dual Diagnosis and Behavioral Therapy

Since there is still much research to be done in this area, treatment professionals currently favor a “stepped” model of opiate rehab. This means that during the stages of alcoholism after detox, any medications that are administered should be combined with ongoing behavioral therapy. This type of addiction help for drug and alcohol abuse is known as Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, and as noted on the website for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the MAT modality:

  • Decreases opioid use.
  • Decreases criminal activity.
  • Decreases the occurrence of infectious diseases.
  • Increases treatment retention.
  • Increases social functioning.

Ultimately, a more integrated approach to treating opiate and alcohol dependence is optimal. Clinical studies of what some practitioners refer to as “whole person” focused therapy have been very promising. Researchers continue to do individual case reviews of the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of these methods.

Want to learn more about detoxing with depression? Wellness Residential Counseling and Detox offers a certified dual diagnosis program, where we tackle co-occurring disorders in our residential program.

We know how to successfully get you on the road to recovery and how to deal with each and every drug and alcohol withdrawal symptom. We will hold your hand through all the stages of alcoholism after detox. And we’ll make sure that you come out clean, clear, and sober on the other side.

Ready To Start Your Recovery? Don’t Wait: Call Our 24/7 Helpline at 855-885-5870