OPIOID ABUSE CONNECTED TO MOOD, ANXIETY DISORDERS

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OPIOID ABUSE CONNECTED TO MOOD, ANXIETY DISORDERS

Recent studies examining the overwhelming problem of non-medical prescription drug abuse and addiction have shown a link between those suffering from all mood and anxiety disorders and the potential for opioid abuse. The study seems to show that in many cases the abuse of opioids is a form of self- medication for those suffering from such mood disorders as bi-polar and major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders such as panic attacks. Interestingly, studies also seem to show that the opioid abuser, free from mood and anxiety disorders prior to abuse, may run the risk of developing these disorders following prolonged abuse of opioids. There appears to be a relationship between the fear/anticipation of withdrawal effects which stem from dependence upon opioids and anxiety disorder and panic attacks. One thing is clear; the abuse of opioids strongly affects the psychological well-being of the individual.

The fact that non-medical opioid abuse was shown to be more prevalent amongst those suffering from all known mood and anxiety disorders seems to offer hope to the struggle of dealing with prescription drug abuse. Surprisingly, prescription drugs are abused more than all street drugs except for marijuana. Proper diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, according to the latest information, may help save many from years of addiction. These recent studies also illustrate the need for increased doctor-patient monitoring, for those prescribed opioids, concerning this apparent relationship between prescription pain-killers and mood and anxiety disorders.

The next step in the study of this relationship, according to those involved in the study, will most likely be the significance of genetic factors versus environmental factors. The most commonly held belief today seems to point to a combination of the two factors, but by studying the combination of psychological disorders and their connection to opioid abuse may help to one day pinpoint the overriding factor and lead to more effective treatment of both conditions.

Submitted by Kevin Eldridge.

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