Withdrawal syndrome

(also referred to as physical dependence) refers to the consequences of repeated administration of certain drugs, whose abstinence can increase the intensity of drug-seeking behavior because of the need to avoid or relieve withdrawal discomfort and/or produce physiological changes of sufficient severity to require medical treatment.(2) Patients who use opioids for pain relief on a long-term basis will likely develop a withdrawal syndrome when therapy is stopped abruptly, the dose is reduced sharply or an antagonist is administered. However, this can be avoided if opioids are tapered gradually over a period of time.

  1. International Narcotics Control Board. 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs: Part 1: The International Control System for Narcotic Drugs. Vienna, Austria: International Narcotics Control Board, 2005. (Available at http://www.incb.org/pdf/e/estim/trainmat/NAR_1%20English%202005.pdf).
  2. World Health Organization. Achieving balance in national opioids control policy: Guidelines for assessment. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2000. (Available at http://www.painpolicy.wisc.edu/publicat/00whoabi/00whoabi.htm).
  3. Morgan JP. American opiophobia: Customary underutilization of opioid analgesics. In: Hill CS, Fields WS, eds. Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, Volume 11. vol. 11. New York, NY: Raven Press, 1989:181-189. 
  4. Bennett DS, Carr DB. Opiophobia as a barrier to the treatment of pain. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother 2002;16:105-109.
  5. International Association for the Study of Pain. International Association for the Study of Pain Web site. http://www.iasp-pain.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=General_Resource_Links&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=3058
  6. World Health Organization. National cancer control programmes: policies and managerial guidelines. Second ed. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002. (Available at http://www.who.int/cancer/nccp/nccp/en/).
  7. Controlled Substances Act, 812, Schedules of controlled substances. 
  8. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.676 So.2d 1380, June 26, 1996.
  9. World Health Organization. WHO expert committee on drug dependence: thirty-fourth report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2006. (Available at http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/WHO_TRS_942.pdf)

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