How similar is opioid dependence to other chronic illnesses?

Opioid dependence has a lot in common with other chronic illnesses because of the relapse that may occur throughout a person’s lifetime. Even though you may be clean for a long time, you may relapse due to stressors or things that trigger the craving. The difference is that you can usually get better and find a way to survive and function as you were at baseline before becoming an addict. This is different from other illnesses, such as diabetes, where you may not have that opportunity. When you lose sensation in your feet from diabetes, you lose it, and there’s no way to fix that. With addiction, there are opportunities to fix the problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.