The lower 2018 numbers represented the first decline in U.S. drug overdose deaths in three decades and policymakers had hoped the decline marked a turn-around or plateau in annual drug-related deaths.
Not only is the COVID-19-induced stress and depression a potential trigger for relapse for those in recovery, but evidence suggest that greater numbers of people are turning to drug and alcohol consumption as a form of stress and depression relief.
The intertwining of symptoms of chronic pain and substance abuse disorder are sometimes hard to separate. Both can create physical, social, emotional, and economic effects. People who have chronic pain, substance abuse disorder or both may have similar symptoms including insomnia, depression, and impaired functioning.
Opioid overdose deaths have declined slightly in the last few years, in part because of the availability of Naloxone. Commonly administered in emergency rooms or by first responders when an opioid overdose is suspected, Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose by attaching to opioid receptors, reversing and blocking the effects of other opioids in the system.
Substance abuse can sometimes be an attempt to self-medicate an issue such as anxiety or depression. Often, they occur so closely together it is hard to distinguish which came first. Like the chicken or the egg, did the substance abuse cause anxiety or depression or did the depression and anxiety lead to substance abuse?
The impacts of trauma during childhood often linger on into adulthood and can lead to the development of psychological problems and/or addictions. Indeed, research has established such a firm link between childhood trauma and substance abuse that some treatment facilities now offer concurrent treatment of addiction and any underlying trauma.
Regardless of their age, social status, race or education level, females are statistically more prone to experiencing traumatic events precisely because of their gender. To cope, females may tend to develop substance dependence.
The rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be up to 15 times higher in the military population than it is in the general population, which likely explains in part the prevalence of substance use disorder in the military. Consequently, when people see or hear the term PTSD, they likely think of veterans.
It is no mystery that many people turn to substances and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Symptoms of stress and anxiety are often treated by “self-medication” instead of counseling or therapy. Past or present traumatic experiences are well-known to create long-term stress, anxiety, and other related wellness disorders.
Remember what you know. Now is the most important time ever to not allow negative or fearful thinking to pull you back toward the rabbit-hole of addiction. Thoughts are not a reality unless you allow them the power to become a reality. Thoughts, in and of themselves, are harmless. It’s the action that can create harm and consequences.