How are Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) related to non-OUD psychiatric disorders?

People with an opioid use disorder (OUD) are at higher risk for other psychiatric disorders including other Substance Use Disorders (tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, and/or benzodiazepines) and non- Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) psychiatric disorders such as psychotic illnesses, depression, bipolar, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are often referred to as “psychiatric comorbidities”.

When these co-occurring disorders manifest only while using opioids or when in withdrawal from opioids, they are often referred to as substance induced disorders. Alternatively, such psychiatric disorders exist independently from a person’s opioid use, and do not end after a person has stopped using opioids and are considered primary or independent disorders. These disorders can only be diagnosed if they continue after a person has stopped using drugs for a period of time.

People with co-occurring psychiatric disorders may find recovery from substance addiction to be more difficult, and may require more intense treatment. As such, having co-occurring disorders worsens the prognosis for either condition, but the literature shows that treating any underlying non-SUD psychiatric disorders will improve the odds of sustained recovery for the SUD, and vice versa.

Data from the 2017 National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed that more than 1.6 million opioid users had a serious mental illness while more than 4.6 millions had any mental illness.

Access “Opioid Addiction with Psychiatric Comorbidities” at:

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