Anyone who takes prescription opioids is at risk of developing a substance use disorder. Many addicts begin to use drugs due to an accident or illness, after which a doctor prescribes them an opiate painkiller. Research shows that taking opioid-based medications for 3-5 days greatly increases the risk of dependence. The length of therapy plays its role, but it’s impossible to predict who is vulnerable to abuse and eventual addiction.
As you get to know this, you may start doubting the necessity of taking powerful opioid painkillers. AddictionResource authors say that adherence to your doctor’s recommendations (on dosage, frequency and way of administration, etc.) helps to avoid abuse and dependence, as well as side effects. Health care providers follow The CDC Opioid Guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. It was designed to ensure the patients’ care and safety and decrease potential risks. You can find more information on it in the given infographic.