What is it?

Opioid use disorder involves compulsive, long-term self-administration of opioids for nonmedical purposes.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Opioid Type Dependence Continuous
- Opioid Type Dependence in Remission

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may vary, but usually includes:
- Taking opioids in larger amounts or for a longer time than intended
- Persistently desiring or unsuccessfully attempting to decrease opioid use
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, or recovering from opioids
- Craving opioids
- Failing repeatedly to meet obligations at work, home, or school because of opioids
- Continuing to use opioids despite having recurrent social or interpersonal problems because of opioids
- Giving up important social, work, or recreational activities because of opioids
- Using opioids in physically hazardous situations
- Continuing to use opioids despite having a physical or mental disorder caused or worsened by opioids
- Having tolerance to opioids (not a criterion when use is medically appropriate)
- Having opioid withdrawal symptoms or taking opioids because of withdrawal

Diagnosis

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders considers opioid use disorder to be present if the pattern of use causes clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by the presence of or more 2 of the following over a 12-month period:
- Taking opioids in larger amounts or for a longer time than intended
- Persistently desiring or unsuccessfully attempting to decrease opioid use
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, or recovering from opioids
- Craving opioids
- Failing repeatedly to meet obligations at work, home, or school because of opioids
- Continuing to use opioids despite having recurrent social or interpersonal problems because of opioids
- Giving up important social, work, or recreational activities because of opioids
- Using opioids in physically hazardous situations
- Continuing to use opioids despite having a physical or mental disorder caused or worsened by opioids
- Having tolerance to opioids (not a criterion when use is medically appropriate)
- Having opioid withdrawal symptoms or taking opioids because of withdrawal

Treatment

For severe, relapsing dependence- it is preferred to undergo opioid withdrawal and detoxification. For maintenance, medication such as buprenorphine or methadone might be useful. It is also recommended to get ongoing counseling and support.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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