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