Opioid use disorder is a complex disorder characterized by obsessive use of opioid drugs even when the individual wishes to stop or when the drugs have a negative impact on the person’s physical and psychological well-being.
While opioids can be given by a physician to treat pain, the use of either legally prescribed or illegal opioid drugs may result in an opioid use disorder. In the US, opioid use is a public health emergency. Overdoses killed over 800,000 Americans between 1999 and 2020. Rising rates of drug addiction have contributed significantly to recent declines in life expectancy in the United States.