Helpful Insights forPatients and Caregivers

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What are Opioids?

Opioids are a type of medication that include some prescription pain relievers, illegal drugs of abuse (e.g., heroin), and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.1


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioids. NIDA. Accessed September 4, 2019.
  2. Prescription Opioids: What You Need to Know: AHA. American Hospital Association.  Accessed September 20, 2019.
  3. Veterans Health Administration. Opioid Safety. Veterans Affairs. Published June 2016. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  4. Naloxone Training. National Drug Court Institute -  Accessed September 20, 2019.
  5. Information sheet on opioid overdose. World Health Organization.  Published August 21, 2018. Accessed September 20, 2019.
  6. Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths – United States, 2013-2017. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 21 December 2018. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1
  7. Information sheet titled “Quick Start Guide for Narcan.” Published 2015. Accessed January 4, 2020.