By Agata Blaszczak Boxe of Live Science
This article talks about the link between depression and long-term opioid use in patients with chronic pain. The study notes that people who take opioids for more than one month are at an increased risk for this mental health problem.
People who take prescription opioids, which are used for treating pain, for longer than a month may have an increased risk of developing depression, according to a new study.
Pain itself can also lead to depression, but in the study, the link between depression and opioid use held even when the researchers accounted for the potential contribution of pain to depression, according to the study.
Therefore, if people who are taking opioids for pain notice they have been feeling depressed, both they and their doctors should be aware that the use of the drugs, and not just the pain, may be a potential source of the depressed mood, the researchers said.
“We really did rigorous control for pain, and we feel strongly that these results are independent of the known contribution of pain to depression,” said study author Jeffrey Scherrer, an associate professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
In the study, the researchers looked at data from three large groups of people who started taking opioids around the time the study started. The first group had nearly 71,000 people; the second had nearly 14,000 people; and the third had nearly 23,000 people. The ages of the people in the study ranged from 18 to 80 years.
The people did not have depression at the start of the study. The researchers followed up with the participants for seven to 10 years, depending on which group the people were in.
The researchers found that 12 percent of the nearly 71,000 people in the first group, 9 percent of the nearly 14,000 people in the second group and 11 percent of the nearly 23,000 people in the third group had developed depression during this time.
They also found that the longer the people took the opioids, the greater their risk of depression was. For example, in the group with almost 71,000 people, 11.6 percent of those who used opioids for one day to one month developed depression, compared with 13.6 percent of those who used opioids for one to three months and 14.4 percent of those who used the drugs for longer than three months. Read More…
Related CE Courses on Pain and Depression
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness. Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.Some types of depression tend to run in families. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression too. Scientists are studying certain genes that may make some people more prone to depression. Some genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of several genes acting together with environmental or other factors. In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Other depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.This introductory course provides an overview to the various forms of depression, including signs and symptoms, co-existing conditions, causes, gender and age differences, and diagnosis and treatment options.
Medication for chronic pain is addictive; therefore, the treatment of individuals with both substance abuse disorders and pain presents particular challenges. This course is based on a document from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Managing Chronic Pain in Adults With or in Recovery from Substances Use Disorders: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (SAMHSA Tip 54). Intended for all healthcare providers, this document explains the close connections between the neurobiology of pain and addiction, assessments for both pain and addiction, procedures for treatment of chronic pain management (both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical), side effects and symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal from pain medication, managing risk of addiction to pain medication and nonadherence to treatment protocols, maintaining patient relationships, documentation, and safety issues. Written by panel consensus, SAMHSA TIP 54 provides a good introduction to pain management issues and also a good review for experienced clinicians.
This course will demystify the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain, the role and limitations of pain medications, and how to identify when pain relieving drugs may be harmful to clients. Participants will understand how to conduct a complete evaluation of clients with a pain disorder, chronic pain syndrome and co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses. Although the majority of chronic pain patients do not abuse pain medications, mental health practitioners need skills to assess when active substance abuse is present and develop appropriate treatment objectives. This course will also give special attention to specific clinical challenges for mental health professionals who treat clients with chronic pain, including suicide assessment and treatment non-adherence.
Prescription drug abuse is on the rise. Pharmaceuticals like OxyContin®, Adderall®, and Xanax® are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. For some prescription drug addicts, medication was originally taken as prescribed – until they started developing a tolerance for it. For others, members of their peer group began to abuse prescription drugs because they are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive on the street. Prescription drug abuse also affects those who don’t use – through increased costs and the inconveniences of increased security at pharmacies. Treatment is comprised of a series of steps, including detoxification, inpatient/outpatient treatment, and maintenance. In some cases, patients must be closely monitored because of the potential for withdrawal effects. Once treatment is completed, there are various options for maintaining sobriety. Laws are being tightened, and some medications have become difficult to find due to the increased rate of prescription drug abuse.
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