There has been a lot of focus recently on the growing “opioid epidemic” in the United States – from politicians talking about how best to solve this serious problem to television networks featuring programs about this important health and social issue.
As the name implies, opioids are drugs derived from opium. They act on the nervous system to relieve pain, but continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Most such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Percodan and Tylenol with Codeine are legal, with a prescription. Some, like heroin are illegal.