As a narcotic, Kadian leads to physical dependence. However, physical dependence is not a sign of abuse; it is a predictable, physical response to chronic use of the narcotic. The body becomes accustomed to physical changes that Kadian causes, and stopping the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms. This is not necessarily a sign of abuse.
Also, the body becomes "tolerant" to the effects of Kadian, and more is necessary to produce the same pain-relieving effects. Again, this is not a sign of abuse; it is a predictable, physical response. People who have been on narcotics for a long time can take enormous doses that would lead to death in a first-time user.
Some people feel that anyone who takes Kadian long enough will become addicted to it. However, most healthcare professionals believe that only some people are inclined toward drug or alcohol abuse, and only those people are at risk for Kadian abuse. The problem is predicting who might develop a problem and who is not at risk. Having a prior history of drug or alcohol abuse, or even having a family history of such abuse, increases your risk for problems with Kadian abuse. People with mental illness may also be at risk for drug or alcohol abuse, as drugs and alcohol can be used to "self-medicate" the mental illness symptoms.
People whose pain is not adequately controlled often display signs that mimic Kadian abuse. For instance, if your prescription for Kadian is not strong enough for your pain, you may display unusual changes in behavior due to the pain, or you may take your Kadian more frequently than prescribed. If you feel your pain is not adequately controlled, please discuss this with your healthcare provider. However, many people start down the slippery slope of Kadian addiction by using inadequate pain control as an excuse.