Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Anxiety disorders may result in regular drug use if substance abuse begins with social experiments. For certain people, opioid addiction begins with access to prescription drugs or the acquisition of narcotics by a friend or relative who has been administered the drug, particularly heroin. Substance abuse has a significant effect on anxiety’s psychological symptoms. As a result of frequent drug or alcohol use, the body can develop a tolerance to the substance, causing it to require more consumption to maintain the same anxiety disorder. This phase may set off an addiction cycle that is difficult to break without professional support. People with addiction and anxiety often address each separately, but the combined effects of an addiction and an anxiety disorder can be devastating.
Anxiety disorders and mental health disorders often co-occur, and heroin addiction is often diagnosed as a co-occurring illness. Many patients are suffering from an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or another form of anxiety disorder, find solace in the use of illegal sedatives like heroin.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of two severe disorders, such as opioid addiction and anxiety disorder, can lead to a traumatic experience of addiction and recovery, making it much more difficult for families to stage an effective intervention. Contact us if you need help preparing an intervention for a family member or friend.
Recognizing Family Members who are Abusing Heroin
It can be challenging to tell the difference between typical adolescent angst and drug use symptoms.
The Following Are Potential Symptoms that Your Teen or Any Other Person Is Abusing Heroin:
- Repeated absences from school or work, a sudden lack of interest in school or work, or a reduction in grades or work results are all examples of school or work issues.
- Physical health issues include a lack of energy and enthusiasm, weight loss or gain, and red eyes.
- Lack of interest in clothing, grooming, or appearance
- Excessive efforts to keep family members out of their rooms, secrecy in their behavior with friends, or a drastic shift in the way they interact with family and friends are common anxiety disorders. Unexpected requests for money for no reason, or the discovery that money is missing or stolen, or that items have disappeared from your possessions are all examples of financial problems.
The Relation Between Heroin and Anxiety
Anxiety disorder symptoms can be challenging to manage. Many patients are aware that their fears are unfounded. Still, they cannot stop themselves from having panic attacks, phobic feelings, or compulsive behaviours that interfere with their ability to live everyday and healthy life. As a result, many patients seek immediate relief from their symptoms using illegal drugs. It has been reported that some people tend to take alcohol or marijuana as a treatment for anxiety disorder. Some people opt for prescription medications, such as pain relievers and benzodiazepines, which have a calming effect.Over the past decade, painkiller abuse has become more common, which has led to tighter laws restricting painkillers’ prescribing, making it harder for those who have become addicted to them to feed their addiction anxiety disorder. Many people turned to heroin to prevent withdrawal symptoms and cope with the underlying psychological problems attempting to relieve them through substance use.
Anxiety as a Result of Substance Misuse
Because of the effects of anxiety, people who have mental conditions are at a higher risk of having drugs or alcohol addiction. Many anxiety disorders are made worse by self-medicating and experiencing unwanted symptoms. As a result, individuals with anxiety may use substances to relax, which temporarily deflects the signs of an anxiety disorder. Alcohol and drugs can be used to avoid the reality of anxiety and achieve a sense of satisfaction.When someone becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs, they can experience extreme anxiety even when they are not drinking or using drugs. If the person has never experienced anxiety before, they may develop drug-induced or withdrawal-related anxiety symptoms due to this unpleasant situation. Continued drug abuse can intensify pressure while altering the brain’s electrical connections. Anyone can develop a substance-induced anxiety disorder.
Why Is Heroin Used to Treat Anxiety
Is there someone in your life who drinks too much coffee? Their anxiety disorder can’t be handled without a fifth cup of coffee halfway through the day. While this person might still attempt to adjust their sleep schedule or cut down on their coffee intake, they would rather do the opposite. Despite the detrimental effects of caffeine on their health anxiety disorder, they drink coffee to maintain the status quo. This is because they see coffee as a simple remedy for their energy issues.
The same rationale can be applied to opioids as a cure for anxiety. Anxiety activates the brain’s natural fight-or-flight reaction. You’ll go to any extent to resist the urge if it’s strong enough. Heroin becomes an addictive coping mechanism, just like relying on caffeine to stay alive and energized. Although heroin is, unlike chocolate, a very expensive anxiety disorder, it is not as attractive as chocolate.
Health Consequences of Drug Abuse
Chronic use of such medications can induce both short- and long-term changes in the brain, resulting in mental health problems such as paranoia, depression, anxiety, violence, hallucinations, and other issues. Many people who are addicted to drugs still have other mental illnesses and vice versa. Drug users are nearly twice as likely as the general population to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, and the same is also true. In 2015, an estimated 43.4 million people aged 18 and up (17.9%) suffered from some type of mental illness (other than a developmental or substance use disorder). 8.1 million of them have a drug use disorder and another mental condition. While drug use disorders often coexist with other mental illnesses, it’s not always clear if one caused the other or whether common underlying risk factors play a role in both.
Coping with Anxiety when Detoxing
Even if a patient did not have an anxiety disorder before developing a heroin addiction, anxiety could be a significant problem during heroin detox. According to a report published in The International Journal of the Addictions, frustration and depression can be crippling emotions. Patients should engage in a recovery facility that includes comprehensive clinical intervention and treatment for mental health problems and guided and intense treatment if a mental health condition is involved. These feelings may also exacerbate heroin addiction, anxiety disorders, and heroin cravings.
Anxiety disorders, for example, can arise as a result of not being able to get the sedation that comes with using an opiate drug like heroin, which may subside over time – or it may be a long-term issue that necessitates intensive treatment. Professional treatment is helpful in this case and should come from someone knowledgeable about how opioid addiction and anxiety may develop into anxiety disorders.
Anxiety Before and After Heroin Abuse
Anxiety disorders which affect about 40 million people in the United States are the most prevalent mental illness. For people who suffer from anxiety disorders, heroin is often used as a means of self-medication to help them cope. Although heroin can provide temporary relief from anxiety, there is a price to pay. You have a higher risk of developing a heroin addiction if you use heroin to relieve your anxiety. That’s not everything, though. Although heroin can help you relax, it can also exacerbate your anxiety.
It’s normal for someone to experience periods of extreme anxiety during withdrawal as the effects of heroin wear off. Because of the severity of this side effect, people can develop anxiety disorders. The distress that comes with heroin withdrawal can lead to a dangerous addiction cycle. Panic and paranoia can be so overwhelming that it drives people in recovery back to heroin. That is why it is essential to find dual diagnosis care. If the anxiety started before or after the heroin addiction, it must be discussed during rehabilitation. Dual diagnosis recovery services can help people recover from drug addiction and fear simultaneously.
When to Consult a Doctor
Seek help if you are suffering from drug addiction or experiencing anxiety disorders related to your drug use. The quicker you seek treatment, the more likely you will make a long-term recovery. If you have anxiety disorders, consult your primary care physician or mental health provider, like an addiction medicine specialist or addiction psychiatric specialist.
- If you cannot quit using a drug, see a doctor.
- Even though the medication causes harm, you continue to use it.
- Your drug use has resulted in risky activities, such as sharing needles or engaging in unprotected sexual activity.
- You think you might be having withdrawal symptoms while stopping drug use.
Helplines or hotlines can help you learn about care if you aren’t ready to approach a doctor. These numbers can be found on the internet or in the phone book.
Long-Term Treatment for Anxiety Disorder
As addiction treatment centres treat co-occurring conditions like anxiety disorder, the idea of treating co-occurring conditions is becoming more popular. Families are advised to study and contact an appropriate recovery program with the tools to manage both the drug problem and the mental health condition before staging an intervention. Your loved one’s road to recovery will begin right now. Please contact us right away 615-490-9376 to learn how we can support you with an intervention’s staging. We’re here to assist you with anxiety disorders.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.