Doctors prescribe opioids to people who are in very serious pain from things like dental surgery,sports injuries, or cancer.
If people follow their doctor's instructions and take the right amount of the medicine, opioids can help their pain go away
But these same medicines can also be dangerous if misused
Examples of opioid pills are OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. People sometimes call opioid medicines different names like Happy Pills, Hillbilly Heroin, OC, Oxy, Percs, or Vikes.
Ways people MISUSE opioid medicines: 1. Not following the instructions from your doctor 2. Taking pills that are not prescribed for you 3. Taking opioids to get high
Heroin is another type of opioid, but it is not used as medicine. It's an illegal drug that people use to get high
It can be a white or brown powder, or black sticky substance called black tar heroin
Sometimes people call heroin names like big H, brown sugar, hell dust, and smack
Both Opioid medicine and heroin can cause addiction, overdose, and even death!
How do opioids work?
Opioids attach to parts of your brain and body. They tell the brain to block pain and make you feel calm and happy.
More people die from opioid overdoses than from other drugs!
How do you become addicted to opioids?
Over time, opioids change the way the brain works. If they are stopped all of a sudden, it can be unpleasant or painful. It is like having the flu but much worse. All of this makes it very hard to stop taking the drug. This is called addiction.
How do opioids affect your life?
If you are addicted to opioids, the drug can take over your life. Getting more opioids and getting high can become all you think about. And it makes it hard for you to enjoy things that used to make you happy.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.