Despair and Drug Addiction

Despair and Drug AddictionEmotional health has a strong influence on each individual’s susceptibility to drug abuse. Long-term anxiety and depression are two mental health conditions that greatly contribute to the addiction epidemic. Work stress, feelings of inconsequence, rocky relationships, and other factors that wear a person down emotionally over time can cause these conditions to become more severe. However, despair, which is often grouped in with depression, differs from sadness and depression and turns many sufferers to substance abuse.

What Is Despair?

Despair is defined as the complete loss or absence of hope. Despair refers to a state of mind caused by the feeling that one is unable to cope with circumstances. Such circumstances include poverty, grief relating to loss, mental and physical health issues, and any other situations that cause the sufferer to feel that he or she will never experience happiness or peace.

Despair differs from depression in that it is an acute and intense emotion, rather than the slow deterioration of motivation and satisfaction. It is not only a loss of hope, but also a loss of the defining characteristics of one’s identity.

Why Might a Person Turn to Drugs in a Time of Despair?

Despair is such an extreme emotion that the usual reservations that come with experimenting with drugs do not carry weight. When an individual feels utterly hopeless that things could improve or that happiness is within reach, he or she is less likely to worry about the social stigmas surrounding drug use, the brokenness it could cause in relationships, or the financial and legal consequences it could bring. Without hope for the long term, a despairing person might look for a quick fix for painful emotions instead of a fix for long-term problems. He or she may turn to drugs that bring euphoria as a way to escape the constant, intense sorrow.

Narcotic substances, such as heroin and opiate pain relievers, can help users temporarily escape from their problems. Others may turn to stimulants or ecstasy to experience energy and excitement once more. Despairing drug users are often tempted to use drugs in intentionally life-threatening ways. However, relying on drugs to improve the sense of despair leaves users feeling emptier and facing even more problems that will weigh on them and diminish their sense of hope. Some even fall victim to overdose and death.

How Can a Despairing Person Achieve Recovery?

Drugs are not the answer for overcoming despair. Hopelessness and helplessness result from circumstances people do not have the means to change. However, what someone can change is the response to these feelings. Therapy can help people learn to cope with dire situations in a healthy way and gain perspective on the issues that bring the sense of despair. Sometimes the lack of options for improving a situation can be overwhelming, but there is always the option of attempting to fortify your emotional health so that you do not have to face despair.

Treatment for Addiction and Despair

If you or a loved one is struggling through a cycle of addiction and despair, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment you deserve to overcome addiction and despair. Don’t wait. Please call today.