Depression is a mental illness that can affect anyone, regardless of their race, age, or socioeconomic status. However, there are some risk factors that may increase the likelihood of someone developing depression.
One such risk factor is substance abuse. People who abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to develop depression than those who don’t.
This raises the question, who is more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol: wealthier individuals or poorer individuals? Let’s discuss how substance abuse, wealth, and depression are related, and where you can go in Atlanta and Alpharetta to receive substance abuse treatment.
How Wealth Can Lead to Depression
The old adage “money can’t buy happiness” doesn’t quite hold up against much of the research on wealth and depression. Studies show that individuals from less-wealthy families are about 50% more likely to develop depressive symptoms than people in families with more money in savings.
This makes sense, because wealthier individuals have financial safety and the monetary opportunity to invest in areas of their lives that can improve their mental health – such as having time to exercise regularly, buying and consuming healthy foods, and spending time on leisure activities or hobbies.
However, there tends to be a negative correlation between wealth and substance abuse, and this trend varies by age group. A 2018 study in the Journal of Development and Psychology found that by age 26, young adults from upper-middle-class backgrounds were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with an addiction to drugs or alcohol compared to overall national rates for young adults of the same age.
This is widely believed to be related to whether the person actually earned their money or inherited it. There is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in people who have worked to earn their money, including kids who were expected to do chores; if a child had money without working for it, then malaise and a sense of entitlement can ensue. This leads to a lack of motivation, which often leads to depression.
Substance Abuse and Depression
Substance abuse and depression unfortunately go hand-in-hand, meaning that substance abuse is a risk factor for depression, and vice versa. Those who are depressed are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication. Likewise, those who are not depressed but abuse substances are at a higher risk of developing depression, because substance abuse alters brain chemistry in a way that makes one more susceptible to mental illness.
Patterns of Substance Abuse and Money
Overall, substance abuse tends to occur more frequently in those who are in a lower socioeconomic status and already have a mental illness, such as depression. However, because young adults who are in middle-class or upper-class families are more likely to develop substance abuse issues than their lower-income peers, their parents should be vigilant of signs of substance abuse. Even though your child may be an adult, you can still help them seek treatment for substance abuse to prevent them from developing debilitating mental health conditions like depression.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Atlanta and Alpharetta
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and/or depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to Atlanta Specialized Care. We offer addiction counseling that addresses the whole person – biologically, psychologically, and socially – to understand what factors are driving the patient to seek out substances.
Our care team consists of licensed professional counselors, two of whom have additional certification as certified rehabilitation counselors, specializing in treating patients with substance abuse issues and associated mental health conditions like depression.
To make an appointment with us, call us today at (770) 815-6853, or request an appointment here. We look forward to providing you specialized care to help you get back to your life!