Painkiller Addiction and Depression

Painkiller Addiction and Depression

Painkiller addiction is hard enough to deal with, but add depression into the mix and the two together can be practically unbearable.

Unfortunately, one of the effects of painkiller addiction is depression so if you already struggle with mild to moderate depression then you are in for a tough time. Depression can make the painkiller addiction that much worse and painkiller addiction will magnify your depression. The best way to treat them both is not to separate them and care for first one and then the other, but treat both together in the form of dual diagnosis treatment.

At The Canyon, we provide a dual diagnosis rehab that speaks to the needs of those who suffer from both drug addiction and mental or psychological disorders like depression. By treating both simultaneously, we can help you more effectively manage your moods while you detox and learn new ways to cope without drugs and alcohol.

Who’s Suffering?

Chronic pain is a problem that affects more than 32 million people in the United States each year according to the American Pain Foundation, a problem that results in just as many prescriptions for addictive opiate painkillers. The result? Painkiller addiction and depression even if depression were not present before the pain began.

It is estimated that between 25 percent and 50 percent of those who suffer from pain are also depressed and that about 65 percent of those diagnosed with depression are in pain and taking painkillers for the problem.

This is especially a problem for those who take prescription painkillers for pain that is so inhibiting that it restricts their independence. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that few patients who are on prescription drugs for pain get much attention for their issues with depression, even at those issues grow along with the addiction.

Each Worsens the Other

For many, depression is already a battle when pain begins and the induction of painkillers into their daily regimen may mitigate the pain but yield results that make depression even worse. Side effects of prescription painkillers and prescription painkiller addiction can include trouble sleeping, lower energy and a lack of appetite as well as less physical activity, all of which lead to depression or worsen depression that is already present.

When you are depressed, you tend to feel physical pain more acutely and may require medication more readily.

Your body’s natural defenses are not as in tune when you are often depressed, due in part to the same effects that one finds with painkiller addiction: issues with sleep patterns, lowered energy and physical exercise made worse by unhealthy food intake. The painkillers may not only take away the physical pain but the emotional sadness as well, which only makes the chances of developing painkiller addiction that much higher.

Treatment at The Canyon

At The Canyon, we treat both painkiller addiction and depression simultaneously through dual diagnosis treatment. If you or someone you love is suffering from the co-occurring disorders of painkiller addiction and depression, contact us at The Canyon today at for more information about how we can help.

Further Reading