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Opioid Use Disorder


Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a condition that causes you to abuse and become dependent on an opioid. Abuse means you continue to use the opioid even though it is hurting you or others. Dependence means your body gets used to the amount you take. OUD prevents you from controlling your opioid use. This causes distress that affects your life. You also have trouble doing daily activities because of physical and mental problems from the opioid. OUD can happen with an illegal opioid such as heroin, or a prescription opioid such as hydrocodone or fentanyl.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


You may be given the following medicines to help reduce withdrawal symptoms during detoxification:

  • NSAIDs decrease pain and fever.
  • Blood pressure medicine decreases symptoms of withdrawal. These include nausea, vomiting, muscle tension, and anxiety.
  • Antianxiety medicine decreases anxiety and helps you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
  • Antacids decrease stomach acid.


  • Detoxification is the process of decreasing your dose of opioids. You will also be given medicine to decrease your withdrawal symptoms.
  • Maintenance therapy means your healthcare provider prescribes another type of opioid to replace the current opioid.
  • Therapy may include work with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or drug counselor. Therapy can happen in group or individual sessions. Some therapy may include family members. A support group is a way to get help from others with OUD. Your healthcare provider or therapist may be able to help you find a support group in your area.


There is a risk of overdose during early treatment with methadone.


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.

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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.

Further information

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