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The Opioid Crisis: Conquering Pain & Addiction in the U.S.
The current opioid epidemic dominates the discussion among national health leaders, recovery advocates and families nationwide. Opioids include heroin as well as prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others. Opioids interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. While generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, opioids can produce euphoria in addition to pain relief. Misuse is a serious problem, which can be taking an opioid without a prescription, or in more significant quantities than are safe. Dependence, addiction, overdose (leading to death) are genuine concerns with regular opioid use.1