There are links between Bipolar disorder and heroin addiction. Individuals who suffer from Bipolar disorder may use heroin in order to handle their mental instability. Individuals who repeatedly use heroin can develop Bipolar disorder.
It is estimated that 50% of individuals with mental illness self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. When prescription drugs and/or therapy are not at a person’s disposal, individuals turn to drugs in order to handle their mood swings.
What is Bipolar disorder?
Also known as manic-depression, Bipolar disorder is a condition that is characterized by extreme mood swings. Changes in personality, energy, and behavior are also shown to be extreme.
During a mania phase, the individual is abnormally irritable, energetic, or happy. During this phase, individuals are impulsive and make poor decisions. During a depressive phase, an individuals may have a negative outlook on life. They may be crying and engaging in self-harm. Thoughts of suicide may occur if the depressive phase is extreme.
Treatment consists of mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and psychotherapy. Hospitalization may be recommended in serious cases. There is no cure for Bipolar disorder.
What is heroin addiction?
Heroin addiction and abuse are defined as being the body’s tolerance to the drug heroin. Over a period of using, the body becomes dependent on the drug, thus increasing heroin usage.
The link between Bipolar disorder and heroin abuse
Repeated use of heroin can cause a multitude of changes in bodily functions. Because all of the body’s organic processes result from chemical reaction, the slightest change can easily disrupt these processes. Abusing drugs, such as heroin, can cause chemical reactions to be thrown into utter chaos. Individuals will begin to exhibit wild mood swings. The serious damage from heroin use can cause an individual to be diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
What can be done to treat both Bipolar disorder and heroin abuse?
Patients who suffer from both a mental illness and an addiction are called “Dual diagnosis patients.” In a rehabilitation facility, both the mental illness and the addiction will be treated at the same time. This will allow the medical staff to keep the conditions under control.
Both the heroin addiction and the illness are treated simultaneously due to the fact that treating just the addiction will not be enough to help the patient. The patient will only go back to using as their sole form of treating their mental instability. Only treating the mental health issue will not be enough because the addiction has a very strong hold on the addict.
In order to overcome both the heroin addiction and Bipolar disorder, the patient will undergo detoxing, behavioral therapy, medical treatment, group therapy, and psychotherapy.
Both Bipolar disorder and heroin addiction need to be addressed. Neither one should go undiagnosed and untreated. If you (or someone you know) are using heroin as a means to control bipolar mood swings, please seek help. If you (or someone you know) are exhibiting symptoms of Bipolar disorder, please seek help.