Anxiety and Facebookitis

It’s been reported that Prince began using opioids to treat crippling anxiety. Seems like he would have tried other treatment methods before trying painkillers, but I’m not sure I agree with treating anxiety with opioids.

Some people use alcohol or food as a social lubricant and/or to treat anxiety, and some people take antidepressants, Xanax, or Valium. And some people smoke pot (if you’re lucky). I suppose any drug that alters your perception would help treat anxiety, but how to treat crippling anxiety in a musician and performer? (Do you think Prince felt naked every time he went on stage? Or maybe he threw up before every performance? Or was it the drugs that kept the worst of his symptoms at bay, allowing him to perform?)

I guess I didn’t realize there was such a large percentage of people who use drugs “to be sociable” and “to feel more relaxed,” as illustrated in this chart:

Two leading UK health organizations have just released a report titled “Taking a New Line on Drugs.” In the report, they make an unprecedented call for the decriminalization of personal possession and use of all drugs. They also referenced data from a survey of 2,000 UK adults about drugs—including why people use and don’t use…

The opioid war is against treating physical pain — against chronic pain patients and doctors — but it doesn’t really address the people who take painkillers to treat mental illnesses or just to be sociable. Seems like a lot of people are feeling pressured to be sociable these days, which I blame on Facebookitis.