What are opioids? Opioids are a class of drugs that are related to the opium found in poppy plants. They work in the brain to produce a variety of effects including pain relief, sedation, respiratory depression, constipation, and pleasure/reward. Notably, opioids can be prescription medications often referred to as painkillers such as oxycodone/oxycontin/percocet, hydrocodone/norco/vicodin, codeine, morphine, or fentanyl, they can be street drugs, such as heroin, or even mitragynine/kratom.
What is Opioid Use Disorder?
In essence, opioid use disorder or opioid addiction can be defined as an ongoing compulsion to use opioids despite physical, psychological, or social harm to the user.
Statistics About Opioid Addiction
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 700,000 people have died in the US from a drug overdose in the past 20 years, and it is estimated that almost 70% of those deaths were attributable to opioids. Moreover, on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid addiction.
Maintenance medications, along with counseling, can improve the chances of success to break free from opioid use and help you or your loved one stay on the road to recovery.