Question: Does substance abuse predispose me to depression?
Answer: Yes, substance abuse definitely can be a factor in predisposing people to depression. First of all, there are a group of substances that include things like alcohol, benzodiazepines, Phenobarbital, that are in the category of what we would regard as central nervous system depressants.
So while people are using these substances, they can experience depressive symptoms. Also, when people stop using various substances like stimulants or cocaine, they can go into a period that often is called a crash, where they appear very, very depressed.
The other problem with substance abuse, especially substance abuse drugs on the street for example, is that they can alter brain chemistry over time and this can also predispose people to depression.