What are opioids?

Opioids, oftentimes also called narcotics, are a type of drug. They include strong prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid.

A health care provider may give you a prescription opioid to reduce pain after you have had a major injury, or surgery. You may get them if you have severe pain from health conditions like cancer. Some health care providers prescribe them for chronic pain.

Prescription opioids used for pain relief are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by your healthcare provider. However, opioid abuse and addiction are still potential risks.

Watch this WebMD video to learn more about opioids (“Opioids: What Patients and Doctors Think”)


What are opioid abuse and addiction?

Opioid abuse means you are not taking the medicines according to your provider's instructions - you are using them to get high, or you are taking someone else's opioids. Addiction is a chronic brain disease. It causes you to compulsively seek out drugs even though they cause you harm.

Watch this WebMD video to learn more about opioid abuse (”Opioid Abuse: When Pain Relief Becomes Addiction):



What are the treatments for opioid abuse and addiction?

The first step towards recovery is acknowledging that substance use has become a problem in your life, disrupts your quality of life. This can result in impairment in school, work, social relationships, recreational activities, or other important areas of your life.

Once an individual recognizes the negative impact the substance has on their life, a wide range of treatment options is available to support your new goal of getting your life back on track. These usually include:

  • Medicines
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies
  • Medication-assisted therapy (MAT), which includes medicines, counseling, and behavioral therapies. This offers a "whole patient" approach to treatment, which can increase your chances of successful recovery.
  • Residential and hospital-based treatment

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Here, at our addiction clinic in Minneapolis & Burnsville, we provide innovative and comprehensive addiction therapy. We are dedicated to healing your mind, body, and spirit, and helping you stay motivated to change. All this while empowering you to create a happier and healthier life for yourself.

With our addiction treatment programs, severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be minimized, allowing you to gain greater mental clarity, so you can fully commit to your addiction treatment program in Minneapolis.

Call us today to find out about your treatment options, or to schedule an appointment with our addiction doctor in Minneapolis. You can speak to all members of our staff in confidence. We value your privacy.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.