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Opioid Abuse Definition & Overview

Definition

Opioid abuse occurs when the compulsive use of opioids harms a person’s health or social functioning, or when a person is addicted to or dependent on opioids. Addiction and dependence means having a physical need for continued use of a drug (dependence) versus a psychological drive (addiction) for continued use of a drug. Addiction and dependence may occur at the same time.

Opioids are a class of drugs made from opium, as well as synthetic or semi-synthetic drugs that resemble these opium-based drugs. Opioids include heroin, morphine, codeine , hydrocodone, oxycodone , and fentanyl . Opioid drugs are also often referred to as narcotic drugs or narcotics.

This condition can be treated. Talk to your doctor if you think you are abusing opioids.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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