When the amount of opioids prescribed to patients grows, the number of overdoses and deaths from prescription opioids increases. Past misuse of prescription opioids is the strongest risk factor for starting heroin use, especially among people who became dependent upon or abused prescription opioids. – CDC
Prescription opioids (like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine) can be prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but have serious risks, side effects, and cause death.
From 1999 to 2017, more than 200,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids, with more than 17,000 prescription opioid overdose deaths occurring in 2017.
The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:
- Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®)
- Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®)
Overdose is not the only risk related to prescription opioids. Misuse, abuse, and opioid use disorder (addiction) are also potential dangers.
Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them.