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Narcotic Use Disorder

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is narcotic use disorder (NUD)?

NUD is a medical condition that develops from long-term use or misuse of a narcotic. You are not able to stop taking the narcotic even though it causes physical or social problems. NUD may be use of a narcotic such as heroin or misuse of a prescription narcotic such as fentanyl. This disorder is also called narcotic abuse.

What are the signs and symptoms of NUD?

Signs and symptoms of NUD include at least 2 of the following in a 12-month period:

How is NUD diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will ask about the amount and type of narcotics you had over the last 12 months. Your blood or urine may be used to check the level of narcotic in your system. Your provider can help you make decisions about treatment. Treatment may be offered in a hospital, outpatient facility, or treatment center.

What do I need to know about narcotic safety?

Where can I go for support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.