What is the role of psychological factors in the etiology of opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Ego defects in certain patients are postulated to form the basis of drug use. Opioids are theorized to help the ego in managing painful effects such as anxiety, guilt, and anger. Behavioral theory postulates that basic reward-punishment mechanisms perpetuate addictive behavior.

Preexisting mental health diagnoses appear to increase the risk for long-term use of opioids among adolescents and young adults with chronic pain. [27]


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