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Can Oxycodone Cause Bipolar Disorder?

A patient looks contemplative during a session with his therapist.
Both bipolar disorder and addiction can be successfully treated and managed.

Nobody knows the exact cause of bipolar disorder, although both genetic and environmental factors are thought to be at play.

With that said, it’s possible—but not proven—that opioids like oxycodone, which change the way the brain is wired, play a part in the development of the disorder.

While science has come a long way in understanding bipolar disorder—and addiction—there are still unanswered questions.

The Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity level and the ability to carry out routine tasks. Moods range from manic, which includes extreme highs and feeling overly motivated, to depressive, which leads to harsh feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Most scientists agree that there is no one cause of bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

While there is a strong genetic component to the disorder, that’s not the whole story.

That’s proven by the fact that it’s possible for someone to develop bipolar disorder, while their identical twin does not. In fact, most people who have a family history of the disorder will not develop it themselves.

The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

It’s possible that drug use, including opioids, could be the environmental factor that triggers bipolar disorder. It’s also possible that people who have undiagnosed bipolar disorder are more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

What is known with certainty is that bipolar disorder and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand.

It’s also known that when people with bipolar disorder abuse opioid painkillers, it can make depressive episodes worse.

The good news is there is a way out of the chaotic mood swings caused by bipolar disorder and substance abuse. And people who suffer from the disorder can go on to lead healthy and productive lives.

It used to be thought that mental illness and addiction needed to be treated separately. We now know, however, that it’s impossible to address addiction without tackling bipolar disorder at the same time.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

Addiction and mental health disorders often occur at the same time—and they must also be addressed at the same time. That’s called dual-diagnosis treatment and it’s a core part of recovery at The Raleigh House. Every person who walks through our door is assigned their own master’s level therapist who will work with them to come up with a plan for rehab. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the painkiller addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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