Concerns about addiction

Physical dependence

Psychological dependence


Physical dependence

Physical dependence on a narcotic (opioid) means that withdrawal symptoms will occur if the medicine is discontinued suddenly.

Anyone who uses these medications for more than two weeks is expected to develop a physical dependence on them. Most people with cancer need pain treatment for much longer than two weeks.

If your pain decreases or disappears and you need less medicine, any withdrawal symptoms can be easily managed by gradually reducing the dose of pain medicine under the direction of your health care team.

A person physically dependent on a narcotic is not addicted!

Related Stories:

Retreat Grounds Button