By Natalie Wood-Wright
Individuals suffering from mood and anxiety disorders such as bipolar, panic and major depressive disorders may be more likely to abuse opioids, according to a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who found that such disorders are highly associated with nonmedical prescription opioid use. The results are featured in a recent issue of the Journal of Psychological Medicine.
Nonmedical use of prescription opioids such as oxycontin—a common and effective treatment for chronic and acute pain—has increased dramatically, and, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, prescription opioids are the second most frequently used illegal drug in the United States after marijuana. Prescription opioids are highly addictive, and prolonged use can produce neurological changes and physiological dependence. For the study, researchers examined individuals with mood and anxiety disorders and their association with nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid disorder.