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What are opioids?
Prescription opioids are used as medicine. Illegal opioids are used to get high. Both of these drugs can be dangerous.
Doctors prescribe opioids to people who are in very serious pain from things like dental surgery, sports injuries, or cancer.
If people follow their doctor’s instructions and take the right amount of the medicince, opioids can help their pain go away.
But they can hurt you if they are misused—like not following your doctor’s instructions, taking pills not prescribed for you or taking them just to get high.
Examples of opioid pills are oxycontin®, percocet®, and vicodin®.
Heroin is another type of opioid, but it is not used as a medicine. It’s an illegal drug that people use to get high, often with a needle.
Both opioid medicine and heroin can cause addiction, overdose, or even death.
For more information, go to teens.drugabuse.gov.