What are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce pain.
Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce moderate-to-severe pain. They are often prescribed following surgery, injury, or for cancer pain. Despite serious risks and lack of evidence about long-term effectiveness, in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of prescription opioids for treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain.
The most common drugs in prescription opioid overdose deaths are Methadone, Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and, Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®) and, Fentanyl (such as Abstral®, Actiq®, Fentora®, and Onsolis®).
The Chilling Opioid Facts:
- According to the CDC, use of the illegal opioid Heroin has increased across the U.S. among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels.
- The CDC has also found that some of the greatest increases are found in groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, privately insured, and people with higher incomes.
- Opioids were involved in 70,237 deaths in 2017.
- According to Allied Against Opioid Abuse, approximately 53 percent of people who misused opioids obtained them from a friend or relative for free.
- An average of one hundred thirty Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
- Recent government data found that more than two-thirds of patients who undergo surgery do not use all their painkillers, and few safely store or dispose of them.
The following drugs should also never be combined with opioids:
- Anti-anxiety medicines (benzodiazepines such as Xanax® and Valium®)
- Muscle relaxants (such as Soma® or Flexeril®)
- Sleeping pills (such as Ambien® or Lunesta®)
- Other prescription opioids (such as meperidine)