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Etiology and Pathophysiology of Opioid-related Disorders
Opioid-related disorders are felt to arise from a variety of social, psychological and biological factors that interact to pro-duce a “case”. Among those identified as especially important are opioid use within the individual’s immediate social environment and peer group; availability of opioids; a history of childhood con-duct disorder or adult antisocial personality disorder; and a family history of one or more substance use disorders. The families of persons with opioid dependence are likely to have higher levels of psychopathology, especially an increased incidence of alcohol and drug use disorders, and antisocial personality. The exact mecha-nism or mix of factors that produce opioid dependence or abuse are unknown, as are the factors that contribute to the chronic re-lapsing pattern that is typically seen in many of these patients.
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