What is an Opioid?

A prescription pill bottle has been tipped over with round white pills spilling out onto a table. - 7/01/2019

Opioid abuse is on the rise across the nation, but some of the people who want to protect loved ones from this deadly addiction may not really know what an opioid is.

Opioids are prescribed painkillers. If you’ve had surgery, you may find opioids in your medicine cabinet. A few names you may recognize include:

  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Percodan
  • Demerol

The goal of providers who prescribe pain management medication is to strike a balance between pain tolerance and the risks associated with taking opioids, but addiction can’t be predicted. Regardless of how judicious a doctor is with his or her prescription pad, pain medication abuse can affect people who don’t even have a history of addiction. Loved ones have been known to rummage through a friend or loved one’s medicine cabinet looking for these medications.

Opioids have highly addictive properties, and long-term use changes a person’s behaviors. When supplies run out, the person may turn to illicit opiates such as heroin. Previously considered an urban problem, the heroin epidemic is now forcing family-friendly neighborhoods to confront the issue, even in small Gulf Coast cities like Pensacola.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) includes medication to alleviate cravings. It also includes individualized counseling and support. Recovery is about treating the whole person. MAT is a discreet option, and the outcomes are good.

Learn more at eLakeviewCenter.org.