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Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Characteristics of Opioid Use Disorder?
Addiction is a long-term disease of brain reward, motivation, and memory. It leads to changes in a person’s body, behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Addiction is characterized by a person not being able to stop using, impairment in behavioral control, craving, and not realizing that using is a problem. Opioid misuse can cause initial feelings of euphoria, pain relief, and calming, which become more elusive as a person builds up tolerance. Social and behavioral characteristics arise as a result of changes to the brain chemistry of a person suffering from opioid use disorder. These can include inattention to daily responsibilities and needs, changes in activities, self-image and relationships, general deterioration of hygiene, isolation from most non-dependent friends, associates, and family, and general instability in daily living. The physical consequences can include drug overdose, extreme deterioration of overall health, and a high risk for infections, such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis.