Depression is a mental disorder that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, affects approximately 16.1 million people, or 6.7% of all adults in the United States. In addition to being highly prevalent, depression is also difficult to treat and manage. In order to treat depression, many people turn to medications like opioids for their effectiveness in treating symptoms. However, opioids are not without side effects and risks. One study found that there was a higher risk of death with opioid use than with non-opioid use for people with depression. Here are some risk factors associated with opioid abuse for people with depression.
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What are the risks of opioid abuse for people with depression?
There are a lot of risks associated with opioid use for people with depression. One study found that there was a higher risk of death with opioid use than with non-opioid use for people with depression. Here are some risk factors associated with opioid abuse for people with depression.
–Opioids increase the risk of suicide and accidental deaths
–Opioid abuse can cause serious health problems like addiction, overdose, and withdrawal
–Opioid abuse interferes with the treatment of depression
–Opioids have been linked to many other mental health issues as well
How to know if you have an underlying depression
Many people believe they have depression when they actually don’t. One way to know if you have an underlying depression is to ask yourself a few questions.
Are you feeling sad or calmly depressed?
Do you feel a persistent sense of existential dread?
Do you feel that life is meaningless and can’t be worth living?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” there may be an underlying depression.
Most common side effects of opioids
Opioid use has been associated with many dangerous side effects, including addiction. People with depression and opioid use often experience a heightened risk of death. In addition to this, opioids can cause a number of physical side effects like constipation, drowsiness, and difficulty urinating. In general, opioids have been shown to be less effective in treating depression than non-opioid medications.
With these risks in mind, it is vital that people with depression speak to their doctors about the risks and benefits of taking opioids for the treatment of their symptoms.
Most common medications used to treat opioid addiction
Methadone is the most common medication used to treat opioid addiction. Methadone can help control cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which makes it a good medication for people with depression. However, methadone has some side effects associated with its use, such as dizziness and drowsiness.
Buprenorphine is also a commonly prescribed opioid drug that has been shown to be helpful in treating depression because of its ability to decrease pain and lessen withdrawal symptoms. While buprenorphine can cause dependence over time, it’s still effective when used correctly by individuals with depression.
Naloxone is a drug that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It attaches to the opioids receptors and blocks their effects, as well as reversing poisonings like heroin or oxycodone. In order to help someone who has stopped breathing because of an opioid overdose, naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing by attaching onto those locations where it will be most effective in doing so
Non-opioid alternatives to deal with depression
Opioid abuse is a risk factor for people with depression. However, there are alternatives to deal with depression that do not involve opioids. Some alternative treatments that could help reduce the risk of opioid abuse include:
– Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
– Self-help group therapy
– Relaxation techniques
How to know if you are addicted to opioids
Opioid addiction usually starts when someone feels like they need to self-medicate for physical or emotional pain. Once the person begins using opioids, they may feel a sense of euphoria and relief from their pain. This is especially true if the person is experiencing chronic pain that hasn’t been treated by any other method. However, as time goes on, the person will develop tolerance and require more opioids to achieve the same effects. Eventually, this leads to both physical dependence on the drug and psychological dependence on the “high” that opioids provide. Opioids are also highly addictive because they cause dopamine release in the brain which releases feel-good chemicals that make us want to use them again and again.
When someone is struggling with opioid addiction they will exhibit a mix of the following behaviors:
-Feeling restless and unable to sleep
-Feeling sick or nauseous
-Regularly going to the bathroom, often having to go right after waking up
-Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
-Drinking alcohol or using other drugs more frequently
-Spending less time with friends or family
-Frequent mood swings
Trust the Experts
Addiction and mental health disorders can affect anyone. If you or a loved one are currently living with opioid addiction or mental disorder, help is available! We encourage you to reach out to the professionals at Oasis Recovery to learn more about our personalized treatment programs and mental health services. Oasis Recovery was founded from firsthand experience of addiction and recovery, with a mission of providing a space where people can heal from addiction in a compassionate, creative, open-minded, and heart-centered environment. We believe recovery is always possible. Our experts work with you to design a treatment plan that fits your needs. Common treatment programs include:
- Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
- Full-time Addiction Treatment on campus
- Aftercare Services
Contact us today for more information about how our programs and services can help you get your life back on track. You no longer have to struggle with addiction on your own. We are here to help.