by DR. HEATHER MORRIS
Beware Patients: Drug Use Is Dangerous Under Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Bipolar Disorder and Drug Use
Bipolar disorder Treatment is a complicated even before introducing illicit drug use into the mix. Most people have different cycles, some with more prominent manic phases and others with longer depressive phases. The neurochemical mechanisms behind bipolar disorder aren’t fully understood and don’t seem to be the same across all cases, meaning that medication and therapy take some trial and error in every case. Additionally, the types of symptoms experienced by a patient with a mood disorder are likely to be affected significantly by illicit drug use of any kind.
Common Drugs Used in Bipolar Treatment
The most common drugs that use for bipolar disorder treatment include antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines in particular have a high risk of addiction, which makes them a poor choice for people who have a history of drug abuse and an even worse choice for someone who is actively using illicit drugs during treatment. Antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants are all highly sensitive to drug interactions. Generally, using illicit drugs with any of these drug types will lead to a lack of improvement or a worsening of symptoms. Using illicit drugs with benzodiazepines may lead to addiction or dependence on either the treatment itself or the illicit drug. Most people with bipolar disorder take more than one medication to manage different aspects of their disorder, which increases the risk of drug interactions even more.