Opioid Prescription Abuse, Misuse, and Overuse

Following an increase in the prevalence of chronic pain and campaigns denouncing inadequate treatment of pain, the past two decades have culminated in what researchers and healthcare advocates are calling an “opioid epidemic” in Canada and the United States where prescription opioid consumption is highest worldwide. An opioid is a drug that binds to opioid receptors and that primarily produce analgesic or euphoric effects. They are found mainly in the central nervous system and peripheral areas such as the gastrointestinal tract. As a class of drugs, opioids include endogenous opioids produced naturally in the body such as endorphins, opiates or opium alkaloids derived from the opium plant such as morphine and codeine, synthetic drugs such as methadone, and semi-synthetic drugs such as heroin and oxycodone. ...

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