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A 22-year-old male asked:

Can i get opiates prescribed for severe anxiety and depression? i have been suffering from severe anxiety since i was 17. my chest is usually so tight that my breathing becomes no longer involuntary. in order for me to breath i must remember and physicall

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Just : Just as the use of marijuana and alcohol is not an appropriate treatment for panic disorder, neither are opiates. The real treatment is finding the cause of your anxiety and learning to deal with it. Although you have described how you have used mood altering substances to cope with your life - don't see mention of results from progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, deep breathing exercises, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy etc. These are not quick, easy fixes but they can work. The basic fact of the matter is that marijuana is a potent mood altering drug which can have dramatic effects on the pulmonary system. The type of reaction you had to marijuana is not uncommon. I recommend that rather than looking for chemical fixes, that you make a committment to get well and start researching some of the treatments listed above.
Dr. Gary-Anthony Lawson-Boucher
Anesthesiology 23 years experience
Anxiety: No. Opiates are not indicated for anxiety. See a psychiatrist. Adding opiates to a patient who has tight chest may worsen the muscle rigidity. Physicians should do no harm. Except oncologists.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctoranswered
39 years experience
Agree with all: Opiates are contraindicated for anxiety and depression. It may complicate an already troublesome situation and have adverse effects upon respiration, not to mention clear headed thinking. A psychiatric evaluation would be the most logical course to take; they are trained in the medicinal and behavioral aspects that you are suffering from. Good luck!
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Anxiolytics : Would be a better choice. And anti-depressants.
Last updated Oct 23, 2017

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