Can Heroin REALLY Cause Depression? A Look At The Evidence
Heroin is a drug that can cause intense feelings of happiness and euphoria. It works by attaching to the same receptors in your brain that cause the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. For some people, however, heroin use can lead to depression.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to some people, there is evidence linking heroin use and depression in several different forms of research. This article will explore how heroin affects moods and how we might be able to help those who struggle with addiction.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a dangerous and addictive drug that can have serious consequences for your health. It is made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy plant. Heroin can be smoked, injected, or snorted. It produces a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, but it can also lead to addiction and overdose.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin use has increased in the United States over the past decade. In 2016, an estimated 15,446 people died from overdoses involving heroin. This is more than three times the number of deaths in 2010.
What is Depression?
Before we go any further, it’s important that we take a moment to define depression and understand the implications of this mental health condition. Depression is a condition where a person has low mood or loses interest in activities they used to enjoy. It can also cause a person to feel hopeless, anxious, irritable, ashamed, or guilty. Depression can last for weeks or months, and it is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States.
Depression may be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, trauma, drug abuse, and medical conditions. Though there are many causes of depression and not everyone who abuses heroin experiences it as a result, there is evidence linking the two conditions together in some cases.
What are the Effects of Heroin on Mood?
Heroin is an opioid drug that causes intense feelings of happiness and euphoria. This is because it attaches to the same receptors in your brain that cause the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Though heroin can be addictive and have other side effects, people often enjoy the happy feeling it produces at first. For some people, however, heroin use can lead to depression.
A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that chronic heroin users who also suffered from depression had significantly more decreased mood than those who did not use heroin. This suggests that there may be a causal relationship between heroin and depression even when taken alone. Additionally, a report from Stanford University found that long-term heroin users were more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms when compared with nonusers or those who only used for a short time.
How Does Heroin Affect your Brain?
Heroin is a drug that can cause intense feelings of happiness and euphoria. It works by attaching to the same receptors in your brain that cause the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
Because heroin affects the brain’s pleasure center, some people may experience intense feelings of happiness, euphoria, and even addiction after they use it. However, while heroin can provide temporary relief from physical pain, it also causes many people to experience depression.
The reason for this is that heroin increases tolerance as it becomes addictive. As tolerance grows higher and higher, more heroin has to be used to reach the same high. This can lead someone who initially experiences only happy feelings from taking heroin to experience both happy and depressed feelings.
In fact, some studies have shown that those with an opioid addiction are four times more likely than average to be clinically depressed too. Heroin abuse often leads to depression in many different forms because it changes how you feel both physically and mentally all at once.
Heroin and Depression in Human Studies
The majority of research on this topic is anecdotal, and there are few human studies that have been conducted to determine a causal relationship between heroin use and depression. One study in rats, however, found that long-term morphine administration can be a risk factor for developing depressive symptoms.
Another study found that intravenous heroin users were more likely to report feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed than people who do not use the drug intravenously. This could be because it blocks the brain’s production of natural painkillers.
Addiction Recovery At Oasis
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by low mood, a lack of interest in normally enjoyable activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. It is often accompanied by anxiety and difficulty concentrating.
The causes of depression are not completely understood, but therapeutic interventions are available that can help. Some people with depression never seek treatment.
Heroin can worsen the symptoms of depression and may lead to an increased chance of developing depression. Heroin use may also lead to depressive disorders in some people who have never experienced this type of mood disorder before.
Addiction and mental health disorders can affect anyone. If you or a loved one are currently living with addiction or depression, 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 and mental illness alone. We are here to help.