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Taking strong opioid painkillers, in large doses, for an extended period of time, can causephysical dependence in humans. This means when the medication is discontinued abruptly, withdrawal symptoms occur. This is normalphysiology and does not require addictiontreatment. However, if an uncontrollable compulsion develops and is accompanied by anincreased quantity of drug to achieve the same effect, and opioid use continues despite negative consequences, such as loss of a job, then these conditions may be considered addiction and may require treatment.