What is Opioid Dependence

opioid dependenceOpiods are the most powerful pain relievers you can currently take.

Because of this they are highly addictive and many people build up an opioid  dependency are are unable to stop using them even when it is in their best interest.

Some opioids you may have heard of include morphine and oxycodone.

The World Health Organization defines drug dependence as the strong desire to take a drug.

In addition to that, three or more of the following six characteristics need to be present in order to be considered dependent on opiods, or any other drug.

  1. Compulsive desire to take a drug.
  2. Inability to control when the drug should be used and how much should be taken.
  3. Withdrawal symptoms when drug usage is decreased or stopped.
  4. A tolerance to the drug has been built up so that higher doses are constantly needed to treat symptoms.
  5. An increase in the amount of time it takes to acquire the drug or recover from its usage.
  6. Continuous drug use regardless of signs that internal organs may be damaged or moods severely altered.

The use of opioids date back to the Sumerians in 4000 BC. It is also safe to assume that opioid dependence and abuse take back to this time as well.

Awareness of this issue took center stage in the early 1900s when President Theodore Roosevelt assembled the Shanghai Opium Commission to help China with the widespread abuse of opioids. In 1913, to curb the use of opioids, President Woodrow Wilson introduced legislation to restrict narcotic usage by requiring a prescription from a doctor to obtain it.

This initial intervention by the government has led to many other necessary regulations like the Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974 and the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000.

Opioid dependency is a serious issue that should not go untreated. If you or someone you know may be suffering from this addiction there is help either by a knowledgeable doctor or rehabilitation facility.

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