How Preventing Mental Health Disorders Could Help Curb Opioid Crisis
When people think about mental health disorders, they typically only think about the extremes. Thanks to the movies, a person with a mental health disorder would be seen as an inmate at the kind of institution portrayed in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for example.
In truth, most mental health disorders are much less extreme. The most common mental health disorders – such as anxiety and depression – can exist with the patient displaying zero external symptoms whatsoever.
Opening up about Mental Health Disorders May Help Prevent Opioid Dependency
The recent opioid crisis has increased the awareness of mental health disorders. People have typically been prescribed opioid-based painkillers to help them deal with pain and discomfort following an injury or other kind of trauma. Because of the addictive nature of opioids, opioid use continues even if pain-management is no longer required. This reliance upon opioids can lead to mental health disorders with depression and anxiety being particularly prevalent.
Experts are now coming forward and saying that the attitudes toward opioid-addiction treatment need to change. The focus should be on preventing addiction in the first place, rather than treating it once it has occurred.
The truth is, the more susceptible a person is to mental health disorders, the more likely they are to become addicted to opioids after being prescribed them. If treatment for mental health disorders was easier to attain and admitting to suffering from mental health problems was less taboo, it would be less likely that a person would later go on to become dependent on opioids should they encounter them.
‘Prevention is Better Than Cure’ is not Just a Decades-Old Adage
You cannot argue with the science. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is not just a handy saying. The most effective approach to promoting mental and behavioral health is also the most comprehensive approach possible. This includes all factions of the local community from healthcare professionals to school, colleges, universities and workplaces.
The less helpful an environment, the more likely a person in that environment is to become susceptible to substance issues. Painkiller use is 50 percent more likely in such environments and 80 percent of these people who use painkillers end up with dependency issues.
One solution is clear – if steps were taken to prevent mental disorders in the first place, less people are likely to end up reliant on opioids.