Addiction is very serious, while dependence and tolerance are to be expected. Addiction causes you to uncontrollably want to use a substance for reward instead of just for relief. Addiction is a chronic disease and can disrupt your personal life or your job. If you find yourself taking your medication more than you are prescribed, or if you take it to experience pleasure instead of to relieve pain, you might be addicted and should tell someone.
Behaviors that are commonly associated with addiction include:
- Seeking opioids from other prescribers or non-medical sources
- Crushing, injecting, or snorting medicines
- Increasing your dosage even if your doctor did not tell you to
Also, if addiction runs in your family, you might be more likely to become addicted. Tell your doctor about you and your families past and present use of any habit-forming substances, like tobacco or alcohol, so your doctor can help you manage your risks.
Other sources for support:
Always remember to take the type and amount of medication that your doctor prescribes for you. If you feel like you need a higher or lower dose, talk to your doctor.
Do not try to get opioids from any other healthcare professional, and do not alter your prescription. UC Davis Health policies require your doctor to monitor your medication intake, which means you may have to provide routine urine, blood, or saliva samples while you are taking an opioid.