Alcohol and drug use

Drug and alcohol use can both lead to, and result from, depression. 

Many people with depression or anxiety use drugs and alcohol to try and cope. It is very common, for men in particular, to try to mask or block out the symptoms of depression or anxiety by using alcohol or other drugs, which only makes the symptoms worse.

Over 500,000 Australians will experience depression and a substance use disorder at the same time, at some point in their lives.

There is very little evidence available to allow advice about safe levels of substance use in people with depression or anxiety. For someone with depression, several standard drinks may have different and more severe effects on them than on someone without depression.

The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol state that for healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, it is important to reduce your alcohol and drug use so you can manage your symptoms more effectively and get on the road to recovery.