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Opioid use disorder means that a person uses opioids even though it causes harm to themself or others. It can range from mild to severe. The more signs of it you have, the more severe it may be. Moderate to severe opioid use disorder is sometimes called addiction. People who have it may find it hard to control their use.
This disorder can occur with the use of any type of opioid. Prescription ones include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid.
Opioids can be dangerous. Taking too much can cause:
Many people with this disorder feel embarrassed or ashamed. Their families may feel that way too. Don't let these feelings stand in the way of getting treatment. Remember that this disorder can happen to anyone who uses opioids, no matter what the reason.
You may have opioid use disorder if two or more of the following are true. The more signs of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be.
Even if you take opioids as part of a supervised care plan, you can still develop opioid use disorder.
Treatment usually includes medicines, group therapy, one or more types of counseling, and education.
Medicines may be used to help you quit. They may help to control cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse. This treatment is called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. During MAT, you take a medicine (usually methadone or buprenorphine) in place of the opioid you were using. Most people take it for months or years as a part of the treatment, along with therapy or counseling.
Treatment focuses on more than opioid use. It helps you cope with the feelings that often happen when people try to stop using opioids. These feelings may include anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment.
Treatment also looks at other parts of your life, like your relationships with friends and family. It looks at your school and work, medical problems, and living situation. Treatment helps you find and manage problems. It helps you take control of your life so you don't have to depend on opioids.
Opioid use disorder affects your whole family. Family counseling often is part of treatment.
Naloxone is a medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. If it is given soon enough, it may save a life. It comes in a rescue kit you can carry with you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about having a naloxone rescue kit on hand.
Current as of:
November 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMichael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine
Current as of: November 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine
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