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Addiction Recovery Blog

Do Opioids Cause Anxiety?

Maybe you were injured on the job or in an automobile accident. You might have been recovering from surgery. The point is, prescription painkillers were supposed to help. And they did for a while. Then, somewhere along the way, things changed.

You started feeling anxious between doses. You might have started taking more of it or more often. With all the news coverage regarding Florida’s fight against opioid abuse, you start to wonder if you might have a problem. Could your recent issues with anxiety be related to these opioids?

The Addictive Nature of Opioids

Prescription painkillers aren’t the only type of opioids causing problems in our state and throughout the nation. Heroin and fentanyl are also contributing to the epidemic of addiction and overdoses. Some people who develop substance abuse issues while taking prescription opioids may transition to these even more dangerous street drugs when their prescription ends.

Opioids work by changing the way your brain processes pain and experiences pleasure. The longer you use them, the more your brain and body depend on the substance to feel like things are working normally. If you remove the drug from the equation suddenly, it can shock the system, which may lead to a variety of unpleasant feelings like anxiety.

The Connections Between Opioid Abuse and Anxiety

Research shows that people who experience anxiety disorders are more likely to self-medicate with drugs like opioids. Unfortunately, withdrawals from the drug can bring on episodes of anxiety that may lead to a cycle of increased drug use. As this vicious cycle continues, you experience more intense withdrawals that pull you deeper and deeper into addiction.

Studies also indicate that opioid abuse may lead to the development of anxiety disorders in those without previous instances. This bi-directional threat can complicate treatment for either condition.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Opioid Addiction and Anxiety

Less than half of those estimated to be struggling with anxiety receive treatment. Twenty-five percent of adults with mental illness struggle with substance abuse in some form or another. This combination is typically referred to as a co-occurring or a dual diagnosis disorder. One of the reasons recovering addicts may struggle with relapse is that their addiction is the only part of the equation being treated.

If your healthcare provider or treatment facility only knows about one of the issues you’re facing, you might be putting yourself at an increased risk of overdose. This is why it’s so important to receive treatment as a recovery center that understands mental health and has experience treating dual diagnosis disorders.

Recover from Anxiety and Addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery

Living in a constant state of worry is no way to go through life. Footprints Beachside Recovery can help you address issues like anxiety and addiction with our dual diagnosis approach. We know these conditions can have a variety of underlying causes, including genetics, the environment and life experiences. Our program combines evidence-based treatment with holistic therapies to help heal your mind, body and spirit from addiction and mental health issues.

You are not alone, and there is no shame in admitting you need help. Start regaining control of your life and contact us today.