Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. 

brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(9):1580

See related article on opioid addiction.

What are opioids?

Opioids (say: OH-pee-oyds) are a kind of drug. Sometimes doctors give these drugs to people to make pain go away. Some people become addicted to them.

What is opioid addiction?

Opioid addiction is when you cannot stop taking the drugs, even if you want to. If you are addicted, you may not feel well if you do not take the opioids. You may have stomachaches, diarrhea, and a temperature. This is called withdrawal.

What can I do if I am addicted?

Your doctor can give you medicine to help you stop taking opioids. You also should stay away from other people who are addicted and from places where you can get the drugs. You can go to a counselor or support group to talk about your problem.

Where can I get more information?

Ask your doctor about places close to where you live that can help you. For more information, go to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Narcotics Anonymous

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.