Who is at risk for opioid addiction?
As opioids have become more available, both through prescription and nonprescription uses, more people in our area have struggled with this type of substance-use disorder. Opioid addiction is one of the two types of addiction we treat most often (along with alcohol addiction).
You may develop opioid addiction through:
- Long-term use of opioid pain killers
- Using illegal drugs or drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor
- Using opioids in ways other than what a doctor prescribes
Opioid addiction can affect anyone. However, we often treat patients for this condition who share certain characteristics, including:
- Younger age, including teens and adults ages 18 to 30
- May use/abuse more than one type of drug, known as polysubstance-use disorder, with opioids as their preferred substance
- Often start by using/abusing prescription medications and progressing to heroin, or other street medications
- Patients with chronic pain may be at risk for addiction to pain medication without ever progressing to illegal/street drugs
Opioid addiction is medical condition that requires expert care to treat. Like any other illness, our addiction team treats opioid addiction with techniques backed by the latest science and research. We work with patients and their loved ones to create comprehensive, personalized treatment plans that meet their needs.
Listen to addiction specialist Elizabeth Bulat, M.D., discuss combating our country’s opioid epidemic.