Why Don’t I Feel Happy After Quitting Opioid Addiction?
Dealing with opioid addiction is challenging, and the recovery process involves numerous phases and steps that are difficult to manage. The entire process of opioid addiction to sobriety has many ups and downs and requires continuous persistence and patience. People going through this process feel different emotions, among which the feeling of unhappiness and depression is most common.
According to a study conducted by the U.S department of health and human services, nearly 70,630 people died from opioid overdose in 2019, whereas 10.1 million people misused opioids in the past few years. Similarly, 1.6 million people had an opioid use disorder in the past years.
What Are Opioids and Why Are They Used?
An opioid is a drug mainly used and prescribed to treat pain as it contains chemicals that relax the body. Many people also abuse prescribed opioid medications which are quite dangerous. It functions in a way that blocks the pain signals that are functioning between the body and the brain. Moreover, It is always used as directed by the doctors and is only safe when used under professional supervision.
What Happens When an Individual Quits Drug Abuse
A number of studies showed that even after quitting opioid usage, the person does not show positive results such as improved focus and memory, looking younger, better sleep patterns, and increased self-esteem. In fact, it is reported that in the initial days of quitting the drug, people feel more depressed and regularly experience social anxiety.
How Does It Feel During the Opioid Addiction Quitting Process
If you are a person who wants to get rid of opioid addiction and adopt a healthy lifestyle, then you must feel proud of yourself for taking this difficult decision. However, most people who experience the process feel uninspired, bored, and unhappy. It is understood that you will feel withdrawal symptoms primarily because it includes an emotional component. There are reasons behind this and it takes time to recover from these emotions.
As the destructive effects of addiction, these feelings will be a significant and compulsory part of the addiction quitting process.
How Does the Body React After Quitting Opioid Drugs?
The reason behind these negative emotions is that the human brain changes due to continuous opioid abuse and its addiction. These emotions are a part of the opioid withdrawal symptoms. We are all well aware of dopamine, a neurotransmitter released in the human brain when experiencing pleasure-inducing activities. Usage of opioids disturbs the reward circuitry of the brain, which functions because of healthy activities such as exercise, socializing, and other similar activities.
Opioid addiction rapidly releases dopamine into our brains. Therefore, it disturbs the regular release of dopamine. The body gets addicted to the artificial release method of dopamine. When you quit taking opioids, the dopamine release is already disturbed from the natural sources and does not get released in the right amount in the brain. Hence the person feels anxious, sad, depressed, and stressed.
Negative Aspects Associated With Quitting Opioid Addiction
Quitting opioid addiction is not easy as the recovery process is linked with many serious health-related problems such as uncontrolled pain, suicidal thoughts, withdrawal symptoms, and specifically the feeling of no happiness, which is the most alarming. It is an alarming situation because even after quitting opioid addiction if the person feels no happiness, it will eventually lead them back to opioid usage for pain relief.
Reasons for Unhappiness and Sadness After Quitting Opioid Addiction
The foremost reason for these negative emotions is the regulation of brain circuitry and chemistry. Both together attempt to create balance as opioid leaves the body after a long period of dependence. Hence the balance gets disturbed, and the body feels withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, muscle aches, and sleep disturbance.
All these withdrawal symptoms combine to create an immense feeling of unhappiness and sadness in the initial days of quitting opioid addiction. Although these symptoms carry their reasons, they ultimately cause a behavioral change in the person, which leads to extreme phases of unhappiness.
Significance of Dual Diagnosis Program
Sometimes this situation of sadness and depression happens because the individual is not following the treatment from a dual diagnosis program. Along with the treatment of quitting opioid addiction, the behavioral and medical treatment of depression and sadness is also required. These therapies and treatments are needed to be done in parallel for better results. The patients do not get these treatments at the right time, so they have to face this emotional disturbance during and after their quitting opioid addiction program.
Post-acute Withdrawal Symptoms as a Significant Reason
The unhappiness after quitting the addiction could also be one of the post-acute withdrawal symptoms, which means that after using the brain-altering chemicals, there will be some lasting effects. These effects might take a few months or a year to end. It also includes other symptoms such as lack of energy, insomnia, and anxiety.
Other Reasons for Not Feeling Happy After Quitting Addiction
The feeling of unhappiness after quitting opioid addiction is not just limited to the chemical imbalance and dopamine levels. It is also associated with other reasons, such as entering a routine that is unfamiliar and new for the individual.
Attending the therapy sessions will also be a new experience, as it involves meeting new people and thus making the patient get out of their comfort zone. All these events and experiences also add to your unhappiness after quitting opioid addiction. Also, these changes can be controlled and overcome easily if done with persistence and consistency under professional supervision.
Approaches of Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.
There is no point in getting hopeless if you are going through opioid addiction or if you are experiencing emotional disturbance after quitting opioid usage. There are methods through which the situation can be handled and managed. The three most influential and prevalent treatment approaches are drug substitution, abstinence, and behavioral treatment. Combining these treatment methods ensures that the patient will show positive recovery results.
But it is essential to execute these approaches consistently, making the process efficient and long-lasting. The medicines used for the treatment blocks opioid receptors and thus help in preventing any opioid effect. Furthermore, the behavioral therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps manage the triggers. The results are always effective when these therapies are done with the proper opioid medications or prescription opioids.
The combination of these two help the patients in improving their attitudes that are linked with the drug and enhance their overall health condition.
Emmaus Medical & Counseling provides opioid addiction treatment, drug addiction treatment, and addiction medicine for chronic pain patients and drug addicts. Contact us today to learn more about us!