Opioid dependence is a chronic condition with an origin in an individual's biology, genetics, and environment. The condition is marked by physical and behavioral symptoms which interfere with a person's physical, mental, and spiritual health. Opioid dependence in the U.S. has grown to epidemic proportions, at times related to patients' increased tolerance to prescription pain medications. Although opioid addiction is treatable, a significant obstacle to successful treatment is in overcoming the societal stigma that asserts dependence is a moral issue or based on character flaws. Overwhelmingly, research continues to demonstrate that opioid dependence is a medical condition requiring treatment.