Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is a national health crisis but is at epidemic proportions in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. As a result, the government has introduced new state-funded programs and legislation to prevent overdoses and improve treatment outcomes. The long-term abuse of opioids, such as heroin and oxycodone can cause significant changes in the brain structure and function and can lead to death, which is why this chronic disease requires immediate and effective medical treatment.

Nearly 2.4 million people in the United States have a substance use disorder (SUD) related to prescription opioids. Approximately a half million people have a SUD related to heroin.1 There has been a significant increase in hospitalizations for opioid misuse.2,3 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three different medications to treat opioid addiction: methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine.4 All three are collectively referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Research shows a combination of medications and therapy is often the most successful approach to treating opioid addiction.5,6

Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Approved for clinical use in October 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), buprenorphine represents the latest advancement in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Medications such as buprenorphine, in combination with behavioral counseling, provide a comprehensive approach to the treatment of opioid addiction. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. Source: SAMSHA

Identifying Opioid Addiction

To determine whether you or someone you know may have an opioid addiction, consider the following questions:

  1. Do you crave, or have a strong desire to use opioids?
  2. Do you have a strong and persistent desire to quit the drug, and/or have you attempted to quit it, but have been unsuccessful?
  3. Do you spend a great deal of time and effort on activities necessary to obtain the opioid, use the opioid, or recover from its effects?
  4. Have you missed work and/or given up or reduced social or recreational activities you enjoy in favor of your use of the drug?
  5. Has opioid drug use resulted in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home?
  6. Do you continue to use opioid drugs despite their negative effect on your life?
  7. Do you continue to use opioid drugs despite having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by opioids?
  8. Do you continue to use opioid drugs despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of opioids?
  9. Have you been taking opioids in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended?
  10. Do you continue to use opioid drugs in situations which are physically hazardous?

A person who answers “Yes” to three or more of the above questions is likely to suffer from opioid addiction.

Disclaimer:  The results of this self-assessment are not intended to constitute a diagnosis of opioid addiction and should be used solely as a guide to understanding your drug use and the potential health issues involved with it. The information provided here cannot substitute for a full evaluation by a health professional.

Characteristics of Opioid Addiction

  • Opioids are taken for longer or at higher doses
  • The individual unsuccessfully tries to cut down on the amount used unsuccessfully
  • The individual spends a lot of time obtaining, using or dealing with the consequences of the opioid
  • Opioid restricts the individual’s ability to meet their responsibilities in different areas of life
  • The individual does not stop using the drug despite knowing it is causing interpersonal problems
  • Avoidance of previously important activities
  • Continued use in situations, which could be hazardous


National Resources

Ohio Resources

Pennsylvania Resources

Whether treatment is for you, a family member or a friend, we are happy to speak with you about our treatment program. Please read more about AOC, or call us at 330-259-4849, or email to schedule an appointment – it’s fast, easy and completely confidential.

  1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2014, September 4). Table 5.14A—Substance dependence for specific substances in the past year, by age group: Numbers in thousands, 2012 and 2013 [Table]. In Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabsPDFWHTML2013/Web/HTML/NSDUH-DetTabsSect5peTabs1to56-2013.htm#tab5.14a
  2. Coben, J. H., Davis, S. M., Furbee, P. M., Sikora, R. D., Tillotson, R. D., & Bossarte, R. M. (2010). Hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38(5), 517–524.
  3. Owens, P. L., Barrett, M. L., Weiss, A. J., Washington, R. E., & Kronick, R. (2014). Hospital inpatient utilization related to opioid overuse among adults, 1993–2012 (Statistical Brief #177). Retrieved from http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb177-Hospitalizations-for-Opioid-Overuse.pdf
  4. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (2012). Medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction.
  5. Fullerton, C. A., Kim, M., Thomas, C. P., Lyman, D. R., Montejano, L. B., Dougherty, R. H., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Medication-assisted treatment with methadone: Assessing the evidence. Psychiatric Services, 65(2), 146–157. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300235
  6. Liebschutz, J. M., Crooks, D., Herman, D., Anderson, B., Tsui, J., Meshesha, L. Z., & Stein, M. (2014). Buprenorphine treatment for hospitalized, opioiddependent patients: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(8), 1369–1376.