Opioids – 5 to 10 Percent Will become Addicted

Opioids are a class of pain relieving drugs that include oxycodone (e.g., OxyNEO, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), codeine, and some other related drugs. These highly effective painkillers have many useful applications, from relieving post-operative surgery pain to relieving the pain associated with cancer. They are also useful for stopping pain from dental procedures, certain chronic pain conditions, and moderate to severe pain from traumatic injuries.

Opioids can be safe when used as directed, but many people become dependent on them. They wrongfully assume that since these drugs are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and available to the public through a prescription, that they are not harmful. However, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at the National Institute of Health, approximately 5 to 10 percent of individuals who …

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