Question: Does Everyone Who Takes Narcotics For A Long Time Become Addicted?

Answer: Not everyone who takes narcotic pain medicines for a long time is at risk for developing addiction. When people talk about narcotic pain medicines, they're usually referring to opioid drugs such as Oxycontin or Percocet. Many people who take an opioid pain medicine for a long time will develop some amount of physical dependence to the medication.

It's possible to develop physical dependence relatively quickly to opioids, even after a few days or weeks of continuous administration of the medication. That means that a person may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop the medicine. However, most people are able to gradually taper off the medication as their pain improves without significant problems.

Although we need better studies in this area, it appears that the percentage of people who actually become addicted to opioid pain medicines is very small. Remember that the definition of addiction is when someone develops a serious problem in their life related to using a substance and they continue to use that substance despite these problems.

Next: What Is The Difference Between Tolerance & Addiction When It Comes To Pain Meds?

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