How Oxycodone Abuse Complicates Mental Health Issues

How Oxycodone Abuse Complicates Mental Health IssuesOxycodone, a drug found in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan, is a powerful and highly addictive opioid painkiller. Recreational abuse of oxycodone can quickly lead to addiction. Oxycodone addiction can directly or indirectly lead to serious mental health issues. Inversely mental health issues may lead to abuse of oxycodone. Oxycodone addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues often become inextricably intertwined.

Mental Health Issues That May Contribute to Oxycodone Abuse

Opioid painkillers are effective in relieving emotional pain as well as physical pain. Any number of mental health issues can cause a person to seek escape or relief in a powerful painkiller like oxycodone. Mental health issues that may contribute to oxycodone abuse include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder

Individuals with these mental health issues experience higher rates of substance abuse and addiction than the general population.

Mental Health Issues That May Result from Oxycodone Abuse

There is one mental health issue that consistently results from drug abuse and addiction, and that is depression. Nearly all drugs of abuse including oxycodone can cause or exacerbate depression directly and indirectly. Oxycodone and most other drugs directly affect the mesolimbic region of the brain, the area that is responsible for moods and emotions. Drug use affects levels of neurotransmitters which is the mechanism of action that produces the euphoric “high” of drug use. With regular use brain chemistry becomes altered, and without the drug the user will experience depression. Depression is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of virtually all recreational drugs.

Drug abuse often causes depression indirectly, since chronic drug abuse and addiction typically result in reduction of quality of life. Addicts see their lives spinning out of control due to drug use but cannot stop using because they are addicted. They become depressed due to the deteriorating circumstances of their lives, and seek relief from depression the only way they know how.
Increased drug use leads to more problems, which lead to increased depression, which leads to increased drug use in a never ending, continuous downward spiral.

Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Multiple mental health issues are also sometimes called co-morbid or co-occurring conditions. Treatment that addresses both conditions and the ways that each condition has contributed to the other is known as integrated treatment. Integrated treatment is the best approach to treating co-occurring disorders.

Find Professional Help for Addiction and Mental Health

If you would like assistance finding integrated treatment, or if you simply have questions about addiction, depression, mental health issues or methods of treatment, please call our toll-free helpline today. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and help you find the treatment you need.