With no shortage of news coverage about the opioid crisis affecting people from every socio-economic level in communities large and small across the country, its helpful to step back and take a look at exactly what opioids are, the risks, and how to respond if theyre a problem in your home or in your community.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include powerful prescription pain relievers, including oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl, and the illegal drug heroin. The prescription drugs can be an important part of treatment and are commonly prescribed by doctors for pain. They also carry the significant risk for addiction and overdose because of the euphoria they create and the tolerance that occurs after repetitive dosing.
Many people are prescribed these medications by a doctor for legitimate reasons often for pain management but anyone who takes a prescription opioid for an extended period of time or does not take it as prescribed is at risk for misuse and abuse.