Prevention of Opioid Addiction

  • Ralph E. Tarter
  • Gerald Cochran
  • Maureen Reynolds


Ameliorating the factors that cause and sustain opioid addiction is essential for effective prevention. Accordingly, this discussion begins with a brief review of the etiological components, developmental pathways, and phases of addiction across the lifespan. Next, assessment of risk for addiction is discussed as to the basis of objective determination of prevention tactics. The main prevention tactics are succinctly noted. Lastly, the challenges that need to be surmounted to increase access to and success of prevention interventions are considered. Recommendations that may improve effectiveness of prevention of opioid addiction conclude this article. In particular, it is argued that successful prevention is contingent on shifting resources from the criminal justice system to the health care system.