content top

Dissociative Personality Disorder and Opium Addiction

Dissociative Personality Disorder and Opium AddictionFrom “Psycho” to “Sybil,” society has heard a lot about dissociative personality disorder. Is Hollywood’s depiction of the disease accurate? The short answer is no, but it is still a very troubling mental illness that plagues around one percent of the general U.S. population, according to Sidran Institute for Traumatic Stress Education and Advocacy.

Dissociative personality disorder, also called dissociative identity disorder (DID) or multiple personality disorder, is a disease where an individual has at least two distinctive personalities that are unassociated with the other. A primary symptom is memory impairment of important events that would not otherwise be forgotten.

There is not a great deal known about the illness, and many researchers are baffled by DID. DID may work as a coping mechanism for people with other issues like posttraumatic stress syndrome. A person is dissociating himself from past abuse, trauma, violence or pain. This does not necessarily manifest itself to the dramatic heights Hollywood would have us to believe. DID patients’ behavior varies from person to person, but all  DID patients are at risk for abusing substances such as opium.

What Is Opium?

While morphine is a more commonly used opiate drug, medical opium is still in wide use around the world. The drug is used also illegally in the form of heroin, a chemically-processed form of opium. Opium is a narcotic drug made from the dried juice of unripe opium pods mixed with alkaloids like paraverine, morphine and codeine.

People typically use the drug to escape. What might begin as a one-time thing can easily spiral into addiction. The euphoric effect that smoking opium or shooting heroin has is highly addictive, but the euphoric feeling is often short lived, and users will become tolerant to the effects of and ultimately dependent on the substance. Consistent abuse can lead to frightening consequences including breathing problems, loss of consciousness and overdose.

How Opium and DID Are Related

A Dual Diagnosis of opium and DID is not uncommon. Many people suffering from personality disorders turn to drug abuse because of its offer to escape reality. The need for psychological escape that triggers the creation of a split identity can be the same thing that motivates a person to abuse opium. A person with psychological health issues may feel the need to self-medicate. A Dual Diagnosis of DID and addiction requires special attention to be properly treated. A person suffering from DID and opium abuse has two issues that need to be addressed in equal measure. Many addiction rehab facilities do not offer assistance with personality disorders, and most psychiatric wards do not address substance abuse problems. There are facilities that are properly staffed with medical professionals and appropriate programs designed to help those with a Dual Diagnosis.

How We Can Help

We can help you find the best resources for addressing a Dual Diagnosis of addiction and dissociative personality disorder. Call our toll-free number any time, as our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions in a friendly, non-judgmental environment.