What Is Being Opioid Naive?

what is being opioid naive

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on March 21, 2022.

What Is Being Opioid Naive?

With opioid prescriptions becoming a standard response to pain relief or surgical recovery, it's important to understand the risks. When opioid naive clients begin taking these medications, it can affect their bodies and have dangerous consequences. 

Understanding the effects of potent medication on opioid naive people can help doctors and their clients avoid potential opioid misuse or addiction.

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What Does "Opioid Naive" Mean?

Being opioid naive means a person has not chronically received opioids, specifically in the 30 days before an operation or acute event. Opioid naive people are at risk of substance misuse due to overprescription or improper duration of post-op treatment. Understanding whether you're opioid naive and other risk factors can help you avoid life-threatening scenarios.

Researchers have studied the effect of opioid prescriptions on opioid naive clients because of the long-term consequences. Ongoing opioid use can create a tolerance that leads to misuse or addiction. Although it's important to treat pain appropriately, the effects of opioid overprescription can be devastating.

Opioid Naive vs. Opioid Tolerant

An opioid prescription will have different effects depending on whether a person is opioid naive or opioid tolerant. Opioid tolerance refers to people who require more substance to have the intended effect. This tolerance can be genetic or acquired, often through chronic opioid dosage. 

When doctors prescribe pain medication, they consider the difference between an opioid naive and opioid tolerant person. An opioid naive person can become an opioid tolerant person in certain circumstances.

Staying Educated About Opioids

Opioid misuse, overprescription or excessive dosage can be a dangerous precedent for pain relief. Opioid naive people are at risk of continued overuse of pain medication. Recent findings may inform doctors about limiting prescriptions or requiring post-op follow-ups. 

If you're opioid naive, take pain medication with caution — choosing the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration can prevent long-term misuse. Understanding your preexisting conditions can also help you make informed decisions. If anything, remember you have options for pain management, and follow up with your doctor about safe opioid use.

Seeking Treatment for Opioid Addiction? Find Help at Diamond House Detox

Due to the overprescription and misuse of pain medication, opioid addiction has become a growing concern for public health. We at Diamond House Detox offer comprehensive treatment options if you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction. We operate using a medical treatment model and address any co-occurring disorders. 

Choose Diamond House Detox for compassionate, personalized treatment programs. Contact our team today to learn more about admissions.

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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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