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Does Opioid Abuse Create Anxiety Disorders?

January 23, 2021 , Agape Treatment Center

Does Opioid Abuse Create Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety Can Fuel Substance Abuse

Opioids are a type of drug that includes illicit drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine (to name a few). Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate or severe pain and are not prescribed unless necessary seeing as they have a very high potential for abuse. Most of the time, these medications are prescribed after invasive surgery or a major injury and can be used to treat pain related to chronic health conditions like cancer. even when a potent opioid narcotic is taken exactly as prescribed, it can result in physical and psychological dependence. Another serious risk factor is overdose, but overdose only occurs when an individual takes an opioid narcotic in a much higher dose than recommended.

Addiction Can Create Anxiety Disorders

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 128 men and women die every day at the hands of opioid abuse and addiction. This is a national crisis that affects individuals on a personal level, tearing families apart, and affects the nation as a whole, costing the United States economy roughly $78.5 billion annually. This annual economic impact includes lost productivity, the cost of healthcare-related to opioid abuse and addiction, and the involvement of the criminal justice system. If you or someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of an opioid abuse disorder, seeking professional addiction treatment is extremely important. However, finding an adequate program of clinical care is not always as straightforward as entering into a medical detox and transferring into an inpatient drug rehab facility. Addiction is a highly personalized disease, and every program of recovery must be custom-tailored to be truly effective. For example, if you have been struggling with a co-occurring disorder like opioid abuse and anxiety, finding a dual diagnosis treatment center will be necessary.

Opioid Abuse and Anxiety Disorders

For quite some time, it has been medically understood that addiction and anxiety are closely intertwined. Many individuals who struggle with undiagnosed and untreated anxiety disorders turn to opioids as a means of self-medication. On the contrary, some opioid narcotics can lead to the development of anxiety-related symptoms. According to a recent study published by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, non-medical use of certain prescription opioids was linked to a higher incidence of the development of anxiety disorders and mood disorders.

It was also discovered that opioid withdrawal could lead to symptoms associated with certain anxiety disorders, and the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal could last for a year or longer depending on the severity of the addiction. This is to say that if an individual abuse an opioid narcotic for an extended period, he or she is far more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than members of the general population. If you have attempted to quit opioid use on your own, but you have experienced extreme symptoms of anxiety as a direct result, attending a dual diagnosis treatment center is probably necessary.

Symptoms of Opioid-Related Anxiety

Some of the symptoms associated with opioid-related anxiety disorders include:

  • Excessive worrying is both intrusive and severe, and which makes it difficult to focus on day-to-day tasks and personal obligations.
  • Feelings of agitation and restlessness. When an individual experiences anxiety, his or her sympathetic nervous system begins to activate and can sometimes kick into overdrive. This can cause feelings of imminent danger, which can be debilitating and lead to extreme agitation.
  • Excessive drowsiness or fatigue. Individuals who suffer from anxiety usually have a hard time getting enough sleep, or getting the quality of sleep that they are used to. fatigue might be chronic, or it might follow an anxiety-related episode like a panic attack or hyperventilation.
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying engaged. Men and women who experience anxiety often have a difficult time focusing on one topic, and report that their minds wander frequently.

Agape Treatment Center and Co-Occurring Disorders

At Agape Treatment Center, we have extensive experience treating co-occurring disorders like substance abuse and anxiety, regardless of which came first. To learn more about our integrated, dual diagnosis treatment program, call today for a confidential and private assessment. Our mental health professionals are standing by around the clock to help men, women, and families.