What Mental Illnesses Coexist with Opioid Use Disorder?

What Mental Illnesses Coexist with Opioid Use Disorder?
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The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that over 10 million Americans misused opioids in 2018. Your body and brain may suffer irreparable harm as a result of long-term addiction. Opioid addiction is a chronic, long-lasting illness that can have serious adverse effects on one’s health, relationships, and finances. Opioid addiction is characterized by an intense, compulsive drive to consume opioid drugs even after opioid medicines are no longer medically necessary.

Warning Signs of Opioid Abuse

An abuser’s addiction may become increasingly apparent to those around them before they realize it themselves because addiction is a gradual disease. While abuse manifests itself in a variety of behavioral and physical symptoms, addiction frequently consists of numerous internal, and emotional symptoms.

The use of opioids increases the risk of overdose by increasing tolerance and leading to physical dependence on the drug over time which can cause withdrawal symptoms if taken away suddenly or if they are stopped cold turkey without proper treatment or detoxification. High-dose opioids such as heroin increase your chances of developing an addiction. These drugs have been known to cause overdoses even at low doses because they are so powerful that some people mistake them for being drunk instead of unconscious.

Common warning signs include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sleeping at odd hours
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes to appetite
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Drowsiness
  • Small pupils
  • Avoiding contact with friends or family
  • Changes in friends or hobbies
  • Increased isolation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness
  • Overly energetic or extremely sad
  • Stealing

Mental Effects of Opioid Abuse

Depending on the extent of the addiction and the kind of opioid consumed, the effects of opioid addiction can differ. Studies have also revealed substantial size changes in several crucial brain regions, even in patients who take opioids as directed. Even months after clients stopped taking opioids, these modifications persisted. Common mental side effects are:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain-Relief
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness

Mental Illness That Coexist With Opioid Abuse

People who suffer from substance abuse and mental illness are known to have co-occurring disorders. Opioids cause the brain’s structure and function to change dramatically, which contributes to the development of dependence. The frequent use of opioids causes neurological changes over time that modify the reward system in the brain. This encourages ongoing drug use, creating a vicious cycle that fuels addiction. The brain responds appropriately to opioids when they are present and abnormally when they are absent after repeated exposure to increasing doses of these medicines. Here are the top 3 mental illnesses that may coexist with opioid use disorder:

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety disorders go beyond momentary fear or worry. Anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time for someone with an anxiety condition.  Common signs of anxiety:

  • a sense of powerlessness and despair
  • Loss of interest in routine activities Lack of enjoyment
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • sleeping alters
  • loss of power
  • Strong sentiments of remorse or worthlessness
  • Consciousness issues


2. Depression

Depression is a severe mental health condition that affects the brain. It’s more than just having a brief period of feeling “blue” or “down in the dumps.” If you’re one of the more than 20 million Americans who suffer from depression, the symptoms never go away. They continue and obstruct your daily activities. Common signs of depression are:

  • excessive concern and strain
  • feeling jittery or restless
  • irritability or a sense of tension
  • A racing heart or difficulty breathing
  • nauseous, shaky, or lightheaded
  • headaches, tense muscles
  • difficulty concentrating


3. Bipolar Disorder

Mood swing episodes can happen infrequently or repeatedly each year. While the majority of people will have some emotional symptoms in between bouts, some people might not. Common signs of Bipolar disorder are:

  • Either excessive irritation or euphoria
  • Extravagant, unrealistic beliefs
  • Less sleepless nights and more energy
  • Talking quickly and thinking quickly
  • Deficiency in wisdom and impulsive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Rage or anger


Treating Opioid Addiction

To treat Opioid addiction and any mental illness that may coexist with opioid addiction, they should look for Outpatient rehabs that offer dual-diagnosis addiction treatment programs. The dual diagnosis treatment programs focus to treat both addiction and mental illness by giving medications and therapies. One of the medications given during the dual diagnosis program is Suboxone Treatment

Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine as well as naloxone. It’s used to treat opioid addiction, and it helps you get back to living your life free from opioids.

Suboxone treatment is a safer, more effective version of cessation methods, it’s more efficient than other forms of treatment which can take longer. Suboxone medication assisted treatment is a proven technique that works in combination with therapy and exercise to help individuals overcome their addiction. Licensed doctors can make these decisions with peace of mind knowing that the patient is taking Suboxone responsibly.

Bottom Line…

A person who has both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder must address both conditions. Treatment options for both substance use disorders and mental health issues may include talk therapy, support groups, medication, and rehabilitation. Most rehabs accept all insurances for a Dual diagnosis treatment program, so there is no need to worry about the expenses. Just make sure that you seek timely treatment. 

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