by Glickman-Simon R

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a harmful pattern of opioid use. It leads to problems with how you relate to your family, friends, and others. Opioids are a class of very addictive drugs from the opium plant. These are morphine, oxycodone and heroin. Cocaine and methamphetamine are not opioids. But they are also very addictive and may lead to the same problems. People keep using these drugs so they don’t have withdrawal problems.

There is no cure. Treatments can help. It depends on how badly you are addicted. It always means not using the drugs. The cause is often complex. A mix of medical, social, mental health, and behavioral therapies is needed. Setbacks are common. A stay at a rehab may be needed.

Natural Therapies

Some people look to natural treatments to help cope with withdrawal problems. They have not been shown to help on a consistent basis.

May or May Not Be Effective

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about all herbs or pills you are taking. Some may get in the way of your treatment or other health problems you may have.



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REFA3 Chang BH, Sommers E. Acupuncture and relaxation response for craving and anxiety reduction among military veterans in recovery from substance abuse disorder. Am J Addict. 2014 Mar-Apr;23(2):129-136.

REFA4 Ahlberg R, Skarberg K, et al. Auricular acupuncture for substance use: a randomized controlled trial of effects on anxiety, sleep, drug use and use of addiction treatment services. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2016 Jul 25;11(1):24.

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REFB1 Duailibi MS, Cordeiro Q, et al. N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of craving in substance use disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Addict. 2017 Oct;26(7):660-666.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2019
  • Update Date: 03/02/2019