In our fight against the opioid epidemic, awareness can be our most powerful weapon. If we can improve the way we accept opioid users, we can also improve how we can see the root causes of the addiction. This will then allow researchers to develop more effective programs for treatments that will effectively help patients recover from the destructive condition.
Much attention may have already been given to the physical injury resulting from opioid abuse. Mental health issues have been pinpointed as a frequent cause with many of them taking it for medicating depression, anxiety, and many other psychological disorders. In most cases, they do so without understanding what they truly are suffering from.
Then again, even the people who do not start medicating for psychological reasons can also develop mental conditions because of their addiction, which suggests that these two should be treated in tandem. For an opioid treatment to be effective, we need to overcome the stigma of mental illness and aim to provide affected individuals with consistent support, especially those with psychological issues.
People often resort to self-medication without supervision from a professional caregiver.
Caution must be observed when self-medicating as patients may still continue to use the addictive substance. Also, they may resort to a similar substance until they can identify and correctly address their condition.
Self-medication can result in opioid addiction, which is highly risky because the patient can crave the substance well beyond his physical dependence. For those with mental health issues, opioids can not only take away the physical pain, but also provide relief for emotional distress giving one a sense of well-being. They may then associate these positive emotions with the drug and will have trouble going through without the substance. This is what makes it more difficult to recover.
Opioid addicts mostly suffer from:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The person worries persistently and finds it hard to relax, focus, and make decisions. Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder may also use opioids to stop worrying as it has a calming effect on the body.
Associated with feelings of persistent sadness, irritability, insomnia, and disinterest in normal activities, it can be hard to recognize depression symptoms without the help of a professional.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sexual assault victims and veterans, as well as those who experience terrifying events, undergo PTSD. This causes flashbacks, nightmares, and serious bouts of anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
These individuals often experience irrational fears and are compelled to act on those fears. Opioids are often used to provide temporary relief for dealing with fear and anxiety.
There have been a lot of studies to find the best treatment for opioid abuse, mental illness, and addiction. However, new methods may not be as effective as it should be unless we are able to come to an understanding of every individual’s needs. The opioid epidemic may only be solved once we provide help for those suffering emotional disorders. This may be done best by opting for an individualized professional assistance as needed.