Opioids Use Disorder

Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop a harmful behavior like consuming a substance, gambling or compulsive gaming even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. Opioid Use Disorder (also known as Opioid Addiction) has been on the rise in Canada in recent years.

What is opioid use disorder?

Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydromorphone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Opioid use disorder means using these drugs in a way that keeps you from living the life you want. When your use is out of control, it harms you and your relationships.¬†Even if you don’t see these effects in your life, it can be dangerous to use opioids in a way that your doctor didn’t prescribe.

Taking too much of an opioid can cause:

What are the signs of an opioid use disorder?

You may have an opioid use disorder if two or more of the following are true:

How is opioid use disorder treated?

Treatment usually includes medicines, one or more types of counselling, and drug education.

Sometimes medicines are used to help you quit. Suboxone and Methadone are the two most commonly used medications to treat Opioid Use Disorder. They may help control cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse. This treatment is called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. During MAT, you take a medicine in place of the opioid you were using. This can help you focus on getting healthy. Most people take the medicine for months or years as a part of the treatment, along with therapy or counselling.

Treatment focuses on more than drugs. It helps you cope with the anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment that often happen when a person tries to stop using drugs.

Many people with this disorder, and sometimes their families, feel embarrassed or ashamed. Don’t let these feelings stand in the way of getting treatment. Remember that the disorder can happen to anyone who uses opioids, no matter what the reason.

Urgent treatment for an overdose

Naloxone is a medicine that reverses the effects of an overdose. If you take it or someone gives it to you soon enough after an overdose, it can save your life. Naloxone comes in a take-home naloxone kit you can carry with you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about having a take-home naloxone kit on hand. You can get naloxone without a prescription at most drugstores or through a community Take Home Naloxone program.