What comorbidities are associated with opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Opioid use and dependence are associated with significant medical and psychiatric morbidities, as well as adverse social, familial, vocational, and legal consequences. The risk of criminal activity and legal consequences becomes greater as dependence becomes more severe. Intravenous injection of opioids is associated with increased risk of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis B and C and HIV.

Many of these morbidities are reduced by substitution therapies as confirmed in a 12-month, open-label, randomized controlled trial from various German centers that examined more than 1,000 patients who were severely opioid dependent and were treated with supervised oral methadone or intravenous heroin. [21]


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