Meds can be tricky –

April 11, 2020 –  This isn’t hard to imagine since we’re talking about people who often haven’t experienced a state that isn’t chemically influenced for many years. It’s not exactly a surprise that concurrent use of heroin and crack can mimic a bipolar disorder.

When examining the symptoms of drug addiction and drug withdrawal against the symptoms of many mental illnesses, you’ll find many things that overlap. Regular opioid use can create depression-like signs, and drug withdrawal can create anxiety. Similarly, stimulant use can foster psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, and withdrawal from these drugs can also lead to severe depression. So why are substance abuse treatment providers so quick to place people on psychotropic medications?

If we know that the drug addiction and withdrawal cause many mental symptoms, shouldn’t we handle that before starting them on more drugs? The thing that must be determined is whether the psychological issue is a pre-existing, organic condition that preceded and potentially precipitated the drug use. If not, then it’s likely a secondary symptom brought on by drug use. With this in mind, dousing the person with more chemicals that alter brain function would only serve to complicate matters further and would be potential mistreatment.



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