Depression and Addiction

At Laguna Shores Recovery, we have dual diagnosis treatment programs to treat both substance use disorders and depression. We strive to provide the highest care possible for those struggling with addiction compounded by a co-occurring mental disorder. In choosing Laguna Shores, you will be supported in finding a holistic approach to recovery that makes sense for your individual needs as you get to know yourself outside of substance use, addiction, and mental illness.

It is sometimes unclear which part came first, but a dual diagnosis typically occurs in one of two ways:

#1. Long-term use of alcohol or drugs affects brain chemistry and anatomy, leading to the development of a mental health disorder.

#2. An individual uses alcohol or drugs as a maladaptive coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms of a preexisting mental health condition.

Depression and Addiction Statistics

Results from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that over nine million adults in the United States met the criteria for a dual diagnosis of a mental illness condition and substance use disorder (SUD) in the prior year.

Additionally, the same survey found that these problems sometimes start early in life. The data showed that 1.5% of all adolescents had a co-occurring depression and substance use disorder diagnosis. As use begins, so does a vicious cycle of clinical depression and alcohol and/or drugs. Without the right treatment plan, this cycle can continue to cause harm.

Dual Diagnosis for Alcoholism and Depression

Alcoholism and depression are commonly seen together in dual diagnosis treatment. Some will feel relief from depression as their alcohol use lessens. For others, it may get worse before it gets better. This is why, when substance use disorder and depression co-occur, it’s important to treat them both at the same time, as they are interconnected.

At Laguna Shores, we have trained professionals who are ready to guide you as you heal from both depression and substance use disorder. Experiencing these disorders in tandem can make life difficult to cope with, which is why formal treatment is essential for you to regain your life and your health.

Signs of Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), clinical depression changes the way you think, how you feel, and how you navigate everyday life. Individuals struggling with clinical depression may be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of emptiness and sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability and edginess
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest or lack of pleasure towards activities one usually enjoys
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • General aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death and/or suicide
  • Suicide attempts

Treatment Options

Treatment looks different for everyone, but there are some common steps everyone must take toward healing. At our treatment center, we have a variety of different programs to holistically support you as you begin to heal the co-occurring nature of mental illness and drug and alcohol concerns you or your loved one may be experiencing.


The first step for many entering dual diagnosis treatment is detoxification. This is the process that clears the body of alcohol and/or any drugs that are in their system. This is the first step to prepare you for further treatment. It is necessary to detox with the support of trained medical staff as you go through this process. In order to make the experience as safe and pain-free as it can be, medications may also be prescribed to reduce or eliminate the effects of withdrawal.

Residential Rehab 

Detoxification allows you to move forward with the type of treatment programs, therapies, and healing modalities that will be involved in your personalized treatment plan while in our Residential Rehab Program.

Our Residential Rehab Center provides you opportunities to overcome both mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) concerns you are experiencing in a comfortable and confidential space as you begin recovery.

Therapy in Residential Treatment

In our residential treatment center, there are a variety of different evidence-based and holistic therapies that may be used in your treatment plan based on the symptomology, duration, nature, and intensity of disorders in which you are experiencing.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used to effectively treat both substance use disorders (SUDs) as well as depression and anxiety. In this short-term, goal-oriented therapy, you are supported as you identify problematic thought patterns and beliefs negatively impacting the actions you are taking so you can learn how to reframe your thoughts, change the beliefs you have about yourself and the world, and take action in your life that empowers you.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a collaborative and cognitive-based approach to identifying troublesome thought and feeling patterns that are perpetuating mental health and substance use concerns. With a special emphasis on mindfulness, both individual and group therapy can utilize this approach to healing. The goal is that you will become able to cope with change and conflict in your life by finding a more balanced perspective.
  • Experiential Therapy incorporates activities like Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Adventure Therapy, and Yoga Therapy into evidence-based treatment programs that address a range of mental and emotional concerns you may be struggling with during your recovery. These approaches take the “talking” aspect of therapy and combine it with activities that are hands-on and creative. This typically results in increased self-awareness and self-expression to initiate meaningful life changes.
  • Twelve-Step Programs are community support groups. This support combines peer social support with those in recovery helping one another. This is not a replacement for treatment but often accompanies it if it resonates with you and your needs in recovery.
  • Life Skills Education is designed to help you cultivate the adult skills needed for everyday life. These classes helo you develop life skills that are vital as you finish your treatment program, move to lower levels of care, and out into the “real world” again. These classes include a variety of different topics, which include domestic upkeep, financial planning, parenting, self-care, and time management skills.

Having a dual diagnosis of depression and addiction can feel complicated and confusing. Recovery and healing are possible. Call Laguna Shores Recovery today at 866-934-5276 for more information on how.