Treating Depression and Addiction at the Same Time

Depression and Addiction: What kind of Treatment Do You Need?

Substance use disorder — whether from alcohol or drugs — can often look like deep depression when in reality it is just severe alcoholism. On the other hand, someone with clinical depression might be self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, which could lead to addiction. It’s critical to find a treatment facility that not only treats both but also specializes in treating depression and addiction.

Renewal Lodge by Burning Tree uses advanced therapy, the 12 Steps and mindfulness training to treat mental health and substance use disorder at the same time.

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

Why are You or Your Loved One Having Trouble with Addiction and Depression?

  • Depression often comes with heightened emotions that are closely related to addiction and alcohol abuse. Distinguishing the two can be challenging.
  • Without the proper treatment plan, you might not be focusing on treating both addiction and depression as needed for recovery.
  • Not treating mental health problems and addiction at the same time often leads to relapse.

Contributing Factors to Depression


Depression and bipolar disorder tend to run in families. If you have a family history of these disorders, your risk for developing them may be higher than most people. Depression is also more likely if other members of your family — parents, siblings or children — suffer from these disorders.

Brain chemistry

Depression and addiction often seem to go hand in hand.

Research suggests that variations in the genes responsible for producing or regulating key brain chemicals such as serotonin (a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of calm and well-being) may make people more likely to develop both conditions at once.

Low levels of certain brain chemicals can lead to both conditions. Depression may lead to drug use in people who are especially sensitive to the effects of low serotonin levels.

Depression and addiction may also occur together because drugs can raise neurotransmitter levels artificially, which can bring a sense of relief from depression symptoms. Some people with depression might abuse alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication.

Impact of Depression on Sobriety

Depression can make recovery more difficult, especially during the first few months after rehab.

It also can influence your long-term recovery if you have major depression.

Depression is a mental health condition that affects different people in varying degrees.

If untreated, depression can be debilitating and make it difficult for someone to carry out their daily responsibilities — including maintaining sobriety.

Depression Should Not Define Your Future

As treatment professionals, we recommend addressing the substance use disorder and treating the underlying mental health conditions at the same time.

Depression can be challenging, but treatment is possible. We offer treatment and therapy for depression and substance use disorder at Renewal Lodge.

Getting Help with Depression and Addiction

Depression is a common co-occurring condition for many people with substance use disorders

It’s critical to find a treatment center that treats both. We at Renewal Lodge have professionals with advanced training in addiction as well as those who specialize in treating mental health conditions like depression throughout the treatment process.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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