Opioid Use Disorder

Physical and psychological reliance on opioids, a substance found in certain prescription pain medications and illegal drugs like heroin.
Opioids are prescribed to treat pain. With prolonged use, pain-relieving effects may lessen and pain can become worse. In addition, the body can develop dependence. Opioid dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, which makes it difficult to stop taking them. Addiction occurs when dependence interferes with daily life. Taking more than the prescribed amount or using illegal opioids like heroin may result in death.
Symptoms of addiction include uncontrollable cravings and inability to control opioid use even though it’s having negative effects on personal relationships or finances.
Treatment varies but may include discontinuing the drug. Medications such as methadone can help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Pairing medication with inpatient or support programs generally has the most success.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW144
Diagnosis: Opioid Use Disorder
US Patients: About 27 million in 2016
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: M+;F
Age Onset: Young adults
Brain Area: Opioids reduce dopamine in nucleus accumbens. Neuroimaging affects in the orbitofrontal area-reducing reward-behaviors
Symptoms: strong desire to use oioids, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms & living normal lives; most US heroin users began with prescriptions
Progression: Long term use shows dysregulation of brain circuits for emotion, distress and high impulsivity.
Medications: opioid replacement threrapy uses methadone or buprenophine and naltrexone; heroin withdrawal symptoms from 2 days-2 weeks
Therapies: CBT; Lohr’s “Calming My Pain!” (DVD or Download from this website) helps to retrain the brain to reduce pain without opioids.

Youtube Video:Here’s Why Opioid Addiction Is So Intense

Amazon or Library Book: Decisions In Recovery:

Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Click the text to click or buy from Amazon.

samhsa.gov; 800-662-4357

(U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration Help)


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Changes and trends in medication-assisted treatment in Israel
    by Adi Marom on January 26, 2023

    CONCLUSIONS: The change in opioid maintenance prescription does not match the significant increase in opioid consumption. Optimization of treatment can be achieved by the creation of a comprehensive database, cooperation between healthcare organizations and the government and further development of non-stigmatic and accessible services.

  • Opioid Use Disorder from Poppy Seed Tea Use: A Case Report
    by Glenn R Kauppila on January 26, 2023

    BACKGROUND Unwashed or unprocessed poppy seeds may be an underrecognized substance that can lead to dependence, abuse, and an opioid use disorder. Poppy seeds can be purchased in an unwashed or unprocessed form, and these seeds can be contaminated with the opium alkaloids morphine, codeine, and thebaine on their surfaces. Poppy seeds that are commercially available, such as those used for baking and in other food products, are legal to purchase, as they do not contain the opium alkaloids on...

  • Inpatient Low-dose Transitions From Full Agonist Opioids Including Methadone Onto Long-acting Depot Buprenorphine: Case Series From a Multicenter Clinical Trial
    by Nikhil Seval on January 26, 2023

    CONCLUSIONS: Inpatient low-dose buprenorphine transition from full agonist opioids including methadone onto LAB is feasible even in those with complex hospitalizations for concurrent infections and/or surgery. This strategy facilitates dosing of LAB before hospital discharge when risk of opioid relapse and overdose are significant.

  • Integration of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Into a Traditional Community Mental Health Treatment System
    by Enrique Oviedo on January 25, 2023

    In response to the opioid crisis, Catholic Charities of Baltimore sought to integrate substance use disorder treatment into their outpatient community mental health clinics. The agency developed a systematic practice improvement strategy that included a competency-based curriculum and supervision plan for psychiatric providers and therapists. Psychiatric providers developed competency with medications used to treat substance use disorders, and therapists developed competency in therapeutic...