Addiction is a disease, not a choice, and it can happen to any of us. While there are many factors that contribute to addiction, we know that prescription opioids―even when taken as prescribed―can be a gateway to misuse and addiction.
For some people, their first exposure to opioids is when they receive a prescription from their doctor to treat acute pain―pain expected to last <30 days―following surgery or an injury. Unfortunately, most people don’t know their risk for addiction before an opioid is prescribed to them. Take Mike for example, who shared his story on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
During his senior year of high school, Mike had surgery to repair a broken wrist from playing hockey. Following his surgery, he was prescribed opioids by his doctor. Shortly after, his wisdom teeth were removed, and he was given another prescription for opioids by his dentist.
Within three to six months of first taking prescription opioids, Mike’s use of prescription opioids had escalated to addiction.
“I was given a prescription opioid pain medication that lasted a lot longer than the pain itself,” says Mike. “At the time, I didn’t understand the dangers of these drugs and within only a few months, I was completely addicted. I lost everything. I had to leave school and stop playing sports in college. I started to watch my life slip away. These drugs are addictive. One prescription can be all it takes to lose everything.”
If Mike had better understood his risk for addiction prior to being prescribed opioids, his experience may have been different.
Another example is Rebekkah, who shared her story on TheTruth.com. When she was 14, she blew out her ankle during cheerleading practice and was prescribed opioid pills. However, instead of getting better, she quickly found herself addicted to the opioids and eventually turned to heroin. She’s not alone: 80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller.
Rebekkah had been an accomplished dancer and athlete, and that was lost when her addiction took over her life and self-image.
Opioid addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Anyone who takes prescription opioids is at risk for addiction, but for some people, that risk is higher than others.
AvertD is a clinically validated genetic test that identifies your genetic risk for developing opioid addiction, also known as Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Having this personalized risk information allows you and your doctor to make more informed decisions about whether the use of prescription oral opioids to treat acute pain is appropriate for you.
Do you know your risk for opioid addiction? To learn more about AvertD, visit avertdtest.com.