Menu Close



Reach Out To Us Today

We understand that every child’s situation is unique. Contact our team with your questions today.

Depression and Teen Substance Use: What’s the Connection?

Person struggling with depression and teen substance use

Depression can seriously impact teens and cause them to feel worthless, sad, and hopeless. They might turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their emotions, further complicating the situation. Depression and teen substance use are deeply intertwined, and it’s important for parents and caregivers to recognize the signs and take action.

Family First offers adolescent depression treatment at our South Florida treatment center. Teen boys 13–18 can get the comprehensive support they need while we work closely with parents to build a healthier home environment. Call 888.904.5947 to find support today.

The Connection Between Teen Substance Abuse and Depression

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects many teenagers. It can cause them to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and hopeless, impacting their daily lives and relationships. In severe cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or self-harming behaviors. These extreme emotions and thoughts can be difficult for teens to handle, leading them to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope.

Teens who are struggling with depression may use substances as a form of self-medication, seeking temporary relief from their negative emotions. Even if they don’t have a lot of experience with drinking or using drugs, influences from friends or media can push them toward experimenting.

Substance abuse only worsens depression. The quick escape is nothing but a temporary fix, and as the effects of drugs or alcohol wear off, teens are often left feeling worse than before. They may then turn to more substances in an attempt to numb their pain, creating a dangerous cycle. This can quickly spiral out of control and lead to addiction, making it even harder for teens to break free from depression.

Signs of Teen Addiction and Depression

Recognizing the signs of both depression and teen substance use can help you take action and get help. These signs might include:

• Changes in behavior or mood, such as increased irritability, isolation, or sudden mood swings

• Significant changes in sleeping patterns, whether it be sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping at all

• Loss of interest in activities that used to bring joy or pleasure

• A sudden drop in grades or disinterest in schoolwork

• Changes in social circle, friends, and hobbies

• Sudden weight loss or gain and changes in appetite

• Increased secrecy and lying about whereabouts or activities

If you notice these signs in your teen, it’s important to approach the situation with compassion and understanding. Avoid judgment and criticism and instead offer support and understanding. It’s also crucial to seek professional help for your teen.

The Importance of Finding Help

Left unaddressed, depression and teen substance use can have severe consequences. It can impact their physical health, mental health, relationships, and future opportunities. Seeking professional help is crucial in helping teens break free from this dangerous cycle. Without professional treatment, teens may continue to struggle with substance abuse and depression well into their adult years.

At Family First, we understand the unique challenges that teenagers face when struggling with depression and substance abuse. Our specialized treatment program offers comprehensive support for teen boys 13–18.

Call Family First Adolescent Services Now

Substance abuse and depression can quickly become a downward spiral for teenagers. But with the right support and treatment, teens can heal and lead fulfilling lives. If you’re concerned about your teen’s mental health or if you think they’re using drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us online or call 888.904.5947 now. We’re available to provide support and guidance for the road ahead so your teen can find a better way forward.