Patients with disabilities often use prescription medications to battle painful conditions, many of which have high potential for addiction. Prescription opioids in particular are effective pain relievers, yet are highly addictive and can easily be abused. People with disabilities are more likely to abuse opioids, but less likely to get the treatment they deserve. Opioids are so highly addictive that even individuals that closely follow short-term prescriptions can quickly get hooked, a risk that only goes up the longer the prescription is for.
Once a disabled individual develops an addiction to prescription opioids, they will often end up switching over to cheaper and more readily available drugs such as heroin when their prescription runs out. This risk is heightened among the disabled, who are often under greater mobility and financial restrictions than the general population. These factors, combined with the fact that opioid addiction is by far the most likely form of addiction to end in overdose and death, make disability and addiction to opioids a growing cause for concern.