Up to one in four people taking long-term opioid therapy will become addicted.

Your potential to become addicted depends on:
• genetics
• environment
• amount of exposure to the opioid

Addiction is not the same as physical dependence. Anyone taking opioids for as little as a week can develop physical dependence.


o Taking the opioid in larger amounts or for longer than you’re prescribed.
o Wanting to cut down or stop using the opioid but being unable to.
o Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the opioid.
o Attempting to keep your usage a secret.
o Cravings and urges to use.
o Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of usage.
o Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships.
o Taking risks to obtain opioids.
o Feeling that you need it to deal with your problems.
o Making excuses when people act concerned.
o Giving up social, occupational, or recreational activities due to use.
o Using even when it puts you in danger.
o Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the opioid.
o Needing more of the opioid to get the effect you want (tolerance).