What is an Opioid Induced Mood Disorder?
Many people who suffer from substance abuse also suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, borderline personality etc. But, drugs such as OxyContin can bring on episodes of mood disorders as well. Generally, with OxyContin these disorders are limited to depression and anxiety. Such disorders can complicate the treatment protocol which is why a quality detox and substance abuse rehab with certified addiction physicians and an integrated multidisciplinary team is important.
Whether the disorder was present before the OxyContin addiction developed or the anxiety or depression began as a result of OxyContin abuse may be difficult to determine at times. Researchers are finding that baseline non-medical use of prescription opioids or OxyContin is associated with development of a mood disorder. Experts in addiction and mental health disorders can appropriately sort through the symptoms and formulate an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
For drug abuse induced mood disorders to exist, there must be a history, physical examination, and laboratory findings of dependence, abuse, intoxication and withdrawal. Such mood disorder symptoms can last up to four weeks after the cessation of the substance use. Such symptoms can distinguish it from a mental health disorder which predates the substance abuse.
Symptoms of OxyContin Induced Mood Disorders
According to the DSM IV TR, induced mood disorders will be characterized by:
Persistent disturbance in mood:
- Depressed mood, diminished interest in all activities.
- Elevated, expansive or irritable mood.
Evidence from history, physical examination, or laboratory findings:
- Symptoms described above developed within a month of substance intoxication or withdrawal.
- Medication is etiologically related to disturbance.
Disturbance can not be attributed to a mood disorder unrelated to substance abuse. These would include:
- Symptoms precede onset of substance use
- Symptoms continue after cessation of acute withdrawal symptoms or severe intoxication.
- The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of delirium.
- The symptoms cause distress, social impairment, occupational, or other disruptions in functioning.
Unfortunately today as the medical world seeks to help alleviate pain from chronic medical conditions and terminally ill cancer patients etc., many young people believe that a drug prescribed by a physician is safe for recreational use.
OxyContin is a central nervous system depressant that when combined with alcohol or other drugs can be dangerous. It is never safely consumed for recreational purposes. Taking OxyContin for any reason will have an impact upon the brain and the body. The drug can interfere with the workings of the brain’s neurotransmitters which are responsible for different communications in the body.
Opiates are naturally occurring chemicals called endogenous opioid receptors that are also found in the brain:
- The limbic system: controls emotions, feelings of pleasure, relaxation and contentment.
- The brainstem: controls automatic functions such as breathing. This section controls coughs, breathing, and sensation of pain.
- The spinal cord: controls the transmission of feeling to the rest of the body.
Since OxyContin alters the natural occurring brain chemistry and function, it changes the way the nerves in the brain work. The more OxyContin one takes, the more the body develops a tolerance. As the level of the drug needed continues to increase, the cycle of addiction begins. Once a tolerance has been developed and addiction has taken hold, the person must feed the addiction with greater levels of the drug or withdrawal symptoms will begin. OxyContin, as with all opioids, is highly addictive.
OxyContin contains large amounts, greater than most pain relievers, of oxycodone the active ingredient in the drug. This powerful drug is worth $40 or more, per pill, on the street today. Addiction to this drug is so crushing that it has driven many to commit illegal acts such as robbing pharmacies or writing illegal prescriptions.
Eventually, the addict will run out of sources to get the drug or money to buy the drug and will be plunged into the nightmare of withdrawal. One of biggest complications to OxyContin addiction and withdrawal is the return to abusing the drug. Medical drug detox can ease the withdrawal symptoms and manage the side effects, one of which is a substance induced mood disorder.
There are many issues that arise when one becomes addicted to drugs as powerful as OxyContin. Substance abuse treatment is the way to appropriately handle the physical, emotional and psychological ramifications of OxyContin addiction and withdrawal. It is highly recommended that someone suffering from OxyContin addiction call 800-993-3869 and speak with a trained counselor now. Appropriate treatment can make your path to achieving long term abstinence a reality.
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