How is opioid dependence diagnosed?


A person is found (or diagnosed) to have opioid dependence by a doctor formally assessing their history and pattern of opioid use, such as use of heroin and other illicit opioids.1

Opioid dependence is diagnosed when the person using heroin or other opioids has multiple signs of having difficulty controlling opioid use such as having a strong desire to use opioids even though they know it is not good for them and is causing them problems.Learn more about the symptoms of opioid dependence in this section.

At the same time your doctor may need to understand other aspects of your health and wellbeing that may influence your opioid dependence and its treatment. Some additional tests such as a urine drug screening or tests for infectious diseases may also be done to better understand your overall health.2


1. World Health Organisation. The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. World Health Organisation. 2016.
2. Dale-Perera A, Goulao J, Stoverr H. Quality of care provided to patients receiving opioid maintenance treatment in Europe: Results from the EQUATOR analysis. Heroin Addict Relat Clin Probl 2012; 14: 23-38

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