Are opioids addictive?

Yes. Opioids are highly addictive drugs, meaning that they can make changes to your brain that result in:

  • Cravings: the mind develops an overwhelming desire for the drug, oftentimes to reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal
  • Loss of control: it becomes harder to say “no” to using the drug, so you continue to use it compulsively, even when it causes harm

Addiction usually occurs through misuse, but it sometimes happens even to people using the medication properly. Some people are at higher risk of addiction because of their genes, temperament or personal situation. Talk with your health care provider about the risks you may face.