Emotional Disorders Can Make You Vulnerable to Opiate Addiction

The link between emotional disorders and opiate addiction has been known for some time. The chance of abusing a substance is higher if a personal has a disorder. Opiate abuse can cause many problems for people dealing with emotional issues. Several emotional disorders can make you vulnerable to opiate addiction.

Chronic Depression

People who are suffering from chronic depression are very vulnerable to opiate addiction. Depression leads to feelings of hopelessness. It can make a person lethargic and uninterested in normal things. Taking opiates can start to mask some of these symptoms. The opiates can make a person feel happier or less concerned about the depression. Unfortunately, opiate abuse can also make depression worse because it changes a person’s brain chemistry. This means that more opiates are eventually needed to achieve and retain the euphoric feeling. The result is a cycle that leads to addiction and dependence that can only be broken by going through professional treatment.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders can make living a normal life incredibly difficult. People with anxiety disorders can experience panic attacks or constant stress about the smallest issues. A person with an anxiety disorder can experience severe physical problems when confronted with certain situations. This can lead to a panic attack where the individual experiences some of the same symptoms as having a heart attack. This disorder can turn someone to opiate addiction. Opiates can temporarily reduce the severe anxiety. The opiates can make a person care less about the things that would normally trigger attacks. This can lead to extreme addiction and dependence since performing normal activities will become possible only while taking opiates.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes severe and uncontrollable mood swings that can last for anywhere from a few hours to several days. One swing might cause a person to begin feeling hopelessly depressed. The alternating manic cycle could cause the same person to become very active, alert and overly emotional. This can lead to sleep problems, isolation and difficulty leading a normal lifestyle. These individuals are often drawn to opiates in an attempt to stabilize the mood swings. Manic depression and opiate abuse are very dangerous because of the altered brain chemistry that exists. Opiate abuse can have devastating results for a person with bipolar disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This disorder occurs when someone experiences some type of physical, emotional or mental trauma. It can happen at any age. The person begins to relive the trauma and cannot escape the physical and emotional feelings attached to the event. Post traumatic stress disorder can lead to depression, loss of focus and social isolation, even from family members. It can become debilitating when left untreated. These individuals sometimes begin abusing opiates to try to dull the memories of the trauma and hide the symptoms for a short time.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder can cause erratic behavior and extreme emotional swings. People with this emotional disorder can develop a distorted self-image, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. They can have trouble forming and maintaining relationships with others. Turning to opiates occurs in an attempt to even out the erratic behavior and to improve self-esteem. The reality is that opiates can actually contribute to emotional instability when abused for some time.


Schizophrenia is a serious disorder that can cause a person to experience hallucinations, movement problems, cognitive issues and delusions. These individuals can start abusing opiates in an attempt to suppress disturbing thoughts or images. They might also abuse opiates when trying to control unpredictable symptoms. Unfortunately, opiates can actually make the symptoms of schizophrenia worse.

Breaking opiate addiction is a long and difficult process especially when the abuse has been going on for months or longer. It is important to identify when a person is at risk of becoming an opiate addict. If you are concerned about yourself or another person with possible opiate addiction, then you should contact professional help immediately.

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