Addiction

We recently received an email from an individual inquiring about addiction. Here is the email:

I wanted to know if depression is a common occurence with addiction. I have been struggling with an alcohol addiction for many years now (I can admit that now) but over the last three years I have also been depressed. Also, I have heard people say that once someone becomes an addict he or she is an addict for life, is this true?

Signed, struggling.

Response:

Yes depression is a common occurrence with addiction. The reason depression accompanies addiction is because of the havoc addiction causes in a person’s life. Additionally, the repeated failures a person experiences in trying to quit the addiction adds to his or her mental burden, further contributing to depression.

With regards to whether a person who has suffered from an addiction is an ‘addict’ for life, I do not believe this. In my many years of experience working with addictions I have seen many, many cases where people quit their addictions and never look back again. It is true that for some people their past addiction continues to cast a shadow on their future life despite the fact they have quit their addiction but this is certainly not true for most people, in my experience.

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