Is Suboxone safe for people with a co-existing psychological illness?
Yes! In fact, treatment of opioid addiction and treatment of co-existing psychological illnesses (like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, bipolar) go hand-in-hand. When a person is struggling with active addiction, it is very difficult for them to manage their mood and emotions. Also, active addiction can cause mood problems. And, when people are feeling depressed or anxious or having panic attacks, it makes it very difficult for them to take care of themselves, including engaging in addiction recovery efforts.
People thus do best when they address both mood and addiction problems at the same time. However, it is also important to recognize that, sometimes, all this can feel overwhelming. It is important to remember the motto “one thing at a time—baby steps” or “just start somewhere.” People often start on Suboxone to get their addiction more stabilized and to get their brains thinking more clearly and then engage in more in-depth treatment around their mood (such as starting new medications and/or seeing a therapist). Ultimately, people will do best when they are taking full care of themselves, which includes addressing both addiction and mood disorders.