Researchers have discovered that people suffering from mood disorders are more likely to use and abuse non-prescription opioids.
The illnesses associated with abuse of opioids include bipolar disorder, panic disorder and major depression.
Mood disorders in general heighten the risk for substance abuse. In this study, investigators made a distinction between prescription opioids commonly used for treatment of chronic and acute pain and opioid use that occurs absent a prescription.
Opioids used for medical purposes include oxycontin, hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), morphine, fentanyl, codeine, and related medications.
Non-medical use of prescription opioids was defined in the study as use of a prescription opioid without a prescription or in greater amounts more often or longer than prescribed or for a reason other than a doctor’s instruction to use them.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the current use of opioids in this fashion has increased dramatically with prescription opioids being the second most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S. after marijuana.