It’s no secret that opioid abuse is a growing problem in the United States. An estimated 2.4 million people in the United States abuse prescription painkillers, and almost half a million people suffer from heroin abuse. But people abusing opioids also often face the additional burden of depression. Left untreated, this often hidden mental illness can make recovery even more difficult.
The relationship between opioid abuse and depression is bi-directional, meaning that suffering from one increases the risk of the other. Opioid abuse is defined as using a prescription opioid for non-medical reasons or using it longer or in greater amounts than what was prescribed by a doctor, and opioid abuse has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. more