Trauma caused by opioids
The majority of individuals are aware that drug use, particularly compulsive drug use, is linked to trauma, but they may not realize why or how terrible this reality is.
The majority of individuals are aware that drug use, particularly compulsive drug use, is linked to trauma, but they may not realize why or how terrible this reality is. If you haven't heard, trauma and addiction are linked... To be honest, I don't trust you if you pretend you've never heard trauma and addiction are linked. This knowledge is so common that it has (shockingly) passed into the realm of humour. The notion of someone chasing away unpleasant memories with a drink, a snort, or a shot has become a mainstay of modern culture, from movies like Deadpool to stand-up to TV sitcoms. As a result, the majority of people are aware that drug use, particularly compulsive drug use, is linked to trauma—but they may be unaware of why or how terrible this fact is.
The Link Between Trauma and Opioid Dependence
The causal association between opioid addiction and trauma, particularly trauma that leads in post-traumatic stress disorder, is still being debated (PTSD). Is it the use of "hard" drugs and the frequently concurrent involvement in the black market that puts users in traumatic situations, or is it the use of "hard" drugs and the often concurrent involvement in the black market that puts users in traumatic situations? According to research and common sense, reality is a two-way street. People who are frequently inebriated or interact on the black market are more prone to violence and sexual assault, but there appears to be a clear correlation between prior trauma and subsequent drug use.
"Opiates like heroin and oxycodone provide the calm that trauma survivors' bodies yearn for but don't obtain."
When people are exposed to substantial stressors, such as an assault or a vehicle accident, their systems unleash a flood of neurochemicals designed to help them survive the situation. Adrenaline and cortisol are two hormones that help us think clearly and react fast in short-term, high-stress circumstances. Our bodies may generate naturally occurring opioids to assist mask some of the pain and allow us to function through it if we are in pain. However, these are only intended to be temporary solutions. When a person gets PTSD, her body reacts in a variety of ways as though she is still experiencing trauma. This could be due to an increase in adrenaline, which causes hyperarousal. However, it will not contain a prolonged physiological pain response, so persons with PTSD will have their minds and bodies "turned on," but they will not have the chemicals to turn it off or quiet it down. That's where opiates like heroin and oxycodone come in; they supply the relaxation that trauma survivors' bodies desire but aren't getting. Those of us who suffer from PTSD are considerably more likely to misuse opiates, which can lead to addiction.
Opioids can help with PTSD, but only to a certain extent.
The association between opioids and PTSD/trauma still requires a great deal more investigation. Current study has already yielded some fascinating results. For example, a study of young children with severe burn wounds discovered that receiving morphine immediately after the traumatic event resulted in fewer PTSD symptoms later on, particularly those associated to arousal. This suggests that opioids may have a real role to play in the therapy of psychological trauma—which isn't to say that self-medicating with heroin is a smart idea. It does, however, suggest that trauma survivors who self-medicate with opioids are reacting to a physiological urge to quiet their overactive nervous system. If you've experienced trauma and have been diagnosed with an opioid use disorder, bear this in mind the next time someone tries to persuade you that you're amoral, weak, or shameful. You're none of those things; your body was merely attempting to restore biochemistry that had been unbalanced as a result of trauma.
Is Buprenorphine Effective in the Treatment of PTSD?
One of the early consequences of these findings is that opioids may have a valid role to play in the treatment of PTSD. Long-term opiate use, of course, leads to dependency in all users, with the potential for addiction in some. When it comes to opiate addiction, trauma survivors are particularly vulnerable. As a result, no one is investigating the use of opiates for PTSD; the prevailing belief is that the risks exceed the benefits. But what about individuals who are already addicted to or dependent on opioids?
Suboxone's primary ingredient, buprenorphine, is mostly used to treat opioid addiction, but it is also prescribed for chronic pain patients on occasion. Buprenorphine was proven to aid combat veterans with co-occurring PTSD, drug use disorder, and chronic pain reduce symptoms across disorders in a research. Patients on buprenorphine experienced a reduction in PTSD symptoms, whereas those on a full-opioid agonist (which they were prescribed owing to their pain issues) saw their PTSD symptoms deteriorate.
"Buprenorphine was found to aid combat veterans with co-occurring PTSD, substance use disorder, and chronic pain reduce symptoms across disorders in a research."
The outcomes of the study are consistent with my own personal experience. Despite the fact that I don't have chronic pain and my trauma stems from physical and sexual assault rather than combat (so I don't exactly fit the patient description), I discovered that while heroin first hid my PTSD symptoms, it seemed to intensify them over time. My anxiety, melancholy, suicidal thoughts, reclusive behavior, and obsession on my trauma all deteriorated as my addiction progressed. However, once I started taking buprenorphine as advised, my symptoms began to fade once more. It was only a slight drop, nothing compared to the psychic obliteration I experienced when I first tried heroin. It showed up as a modest reduction in anxiety and mood swings, as well as a refreshing mental clarity and liberation from my trauma focus.
More research into the link between opioids and PTSD is needed, but we do know that one exists. You are not alone if you are addicted to opioids and have PTSD or a history of trauma. You have nothing to be embarrassed of.