About opioid dependence:
A growing, but treatable problem
According to SAMHSA,*
an estimated 5.1 million people in the United States are currently misusing† prescription opioids–that is almost as many people as the populations of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas combined. Approximately 2 million are considered to have opioid dependence.
What you need to know
Opioid dependence is a chronic disorder like diabetes or high blood pressure and can develop as a result of either legitimate use or misuse of opioids. Frequent opioid use physically changes the brain, so that the brain starts to think that it needs opioids to function normally. That is why people with opioid dependence experience cravings and symptoms of withdrawal when the effects of opioids begin to wear off. Learn more
Finding the right treatment
The good news is that opioid dependence can be treated, but there is no single treatment that is right for everyone. An effective treatment plan should include support and/or counseling that is designed to meet the needs of the person being treated and may also include medication. An active support network that includes doctors, counselors, friends, and family can help people with opioid dependence regain control of their lives, and start the process of recovery. Learn more
*The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
†Taking opioids more often or in higher quantites than prescribed or using opioids for nonmedical, recreational purposes.