Surprising Ways A Nasal Spray Could Help Your Mental Health Or Drug Addiction

When many people think about using a nasal spray, they think about treating cold, flu, or allergy symptoms. However, this is only one type of nasal spray and one specific application for this type of medical treatment. There are many different types of over-the-counter and prescription nasal sprays that can treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Get to know a few of the ways that a nasal spray treatment can help you in your life if you have addiction and/or mental health issues.

Nasal Spray for Opioid Overdoses

One of the surprising ways that nasal sprays can be helpful in health and medical care is for use in the case of an opioid overdose. Opioids (also known as opiates) are drugs that are highly addictive and can be found in both prescription and illegal (illicit) forms. Addiction to and abuse of opiates has become a major problem in the United States today.

There is now a treatment that makes responding to a potential opioid overdose much easier for law enforcement officials, doctors, and even for friends and families of known opioid addicts. This medication is a nasal inhaler, just like virtually any other prescription nasal spray, except that this spray contains a drug that is a potent and powerful opioid antagonist.

This medication can essentially bring a person back from the brink of irreversible (i.e. fatal) opioid overdoses if administered quickly and correctly. The opioid antagonist essentially reverses some of the opioid effects and can give a person the time they need to get further treatments from emergency medical services. This nasal spray can be the difference between life and death in the case of an opioid overdose. Click here for more information on substance abuse treatment.

Nasal Spray for Mental Health and Social Dysfunction

Another way that a nasal spray can be used in surprising ways is to treat mental health conditions and especially social dysfunction caused by certain conditions. The idea is to administer oxytocin through an inhaled nasal spray so that it can reach and affect the central nervous system faster than through other forms of medication administration.

Oxytocin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the human body. However, some people with mental health disorders like anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, and even autism may have lower than normal levels of this hormone in their body. Recent research has indicated that the administration of oxytocin through a nasal spray is effective in improving social interactions for patients with autism.

Another test of the efficacy of inhaled oxytocin used a device that combined a nasal spray with a mouthpiece that made the device into a breath-powered one to push the oxytocin into the nasal passage. Results were positive, showing more positive impressions on facial expression tests (to test perceptions of other people's intentions and moods) than with a placebo. This shows promise in regard to future treatments of autism and mental health.

Now that you know some of the surprising ways that nasal sprays can help with various health conditions, you can talk to your doctor about the possibility of incorporating these medications into your health routine.