Stress or Anxiety Issues and Hydrocodone Abuse

Stress or Anxiety Issues and Hydrocodone Abuse

Stress and anxiety are integral parts of hydrocodone abuse and addiction for many people. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that about half of all people with a substance abuse disorder experience an affective or anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Negative emotional states can initiate drug use, precipitate relapse and also be an outgrowth of the use of hydrocodone.

The Cyclical Relationship Between Stress, Anxiety and Hydrocodone Use

Although there are a number of reasons that someone may begin abusing a drug like hydrocodone, using it as an attempt to alleviate or distract from feelings of stress or anxiety is common. Drugs of abuse are known as mood-altering substances because of the change they can bring to users’ emotional states, and the more negative or uncomfortable the initial state, the more appealing the drug may seem. Early life stress may also change the brain in ways that make it more responsive to the effects of various substances of abuse.

In those who are in recovery from hydrocodone abuse, stress and anxiety can lead to relapse for many of the same reasons that those states may lead to initial drug experimentation. There may also be other factors at work. A 2002 article in the Journal of Neuroscience reports that repeated use of opioid drugs like hydrocodone may cause alterations in brain systems that regulate stress responsiveness. They note that certain studies have shown that animals with a previous history of opioid use returned to drug-seeking behavior when they were stressed by a mild shock.

Negative emotional states may also be an outgrowth of the use of hydrocodone. Brain changes caused by continual use of the drug and the body’s adaptations to its effects make people highly susceptible to anxiety. SAMHSA notes that substance use is more often a cause of anxiety symptoms than an attempt to treat them. Anxiety may be especially strong during withdrawal.

Integrated Hydrocodone Abuse Treatment

When people suffer from both addiction and a mental health condition, treating both sides of the equation in an integrated manner can lead to improved treatment outcomes. A 2010 study reported in the Journal of Psychiatry found that women who were treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showed greater responsiveness to substance abuse treatment after their PTSD symptoms improved. SAMHSA notes that women are more likely than men to suffer from PTSD and that older adults may be at the highest risk of combined substance abuse and mood disorder conditions.

We Can Help You Find Treatment for Hydrocodone Abuse

If you would like to find a treatment program that offers integrated treatment for hydrocodone addiction and any associated mental health conditions, we can help you find one that meets your needs. Our toll-free helpline is available now, at any hour of the day or night. Counselors can answer your questions about hydrocodone addiction and treatment. They can also check your insurance coverage if you wish, at no cost or obligation. Don’t stay trapped in the cycle of stress, anxiety and hydrocodone abuse. Call today.