Which drugs and substances of abuse increase the risk of developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Exposure to certain pharmacologic agents increases the risk of depression, such as reserpine, beta-blockers, and steroids such as cortisol. Abused substances can also increase risk of major depressive disorder, such as cocaine, amphetamine, narcotics, and alcohol. With agents of abuse, however, it is unclear whether depression is a consequence or facilitator.

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