Introduction: Opioid addiction is a mounting problem and concern in all parts of the world. Drug overdose related to opioid addiction was the leading cause of accidental death in the United States in 2015; this extends to people across all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses. It is estimated that 21 million Americans aged 12 years or older have one form of substance use disorder, of which 2 million involves the use of prescription pain relievers. The cost of opioid misuse is estimated to be $78.5B based on 2013 data. This amount has exponentially increased more than $20 billion per year compared with 6 years ago.
Purpose: We conducted a concept analysis of opioid addiction in the 21st century and present its implications for nursing.
Methods: Walker and Avant's eight steps for analyzing a concept were utilized.
Results: Uses of opioid addiction from the perspectives of health care, sociology, law, and economics are presented. Defining attributes of opioid addiction based on review of the literature include physical dependence to opioids, psychological craving for opioids, habitual use, and lack of self- control. Antecedents, consequences, and empirical referents are also identified. Model, related, and contrary cases are developed.
Conclusion: This concept analysis article enhances understanding of the current opioid addiction crisis that is affecting the country.
Implications to nursing: Nurses are in a position to play critical roles in the fight against opioid addiction. Nursing opportunities exist starting from the bedside and can reach up to the White House.