An opioid is a type of drug found naturally in a poppy plant. Prescription opioids can be constructed inside a lab using the same chemical structure found in the natural plant. Or they can be manufactured directly from the poppy plant itself. Examples of prescription opioids include oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone and codeine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid.

Medical providers can prescribe opioids to patients for pain management—usually following a surgery or an injury. The chemicals in opioids will stop pain signals from being sent to the body via the brain, and will also release enormous amounts of dopamine—the pleasure neurotransmitter—to the body.

Opioids can be extremely addictive, and a multitude of accidental overdoses and deaths are associated with the drug.

How are they used illegally?

Opioids can be used illegally when an individual uses another person’s prescription, takes the drug in a way other than which it has been prescribed or consumes the drug for the purpose of “getting high.”

A study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse sites that 80% of all heroin users have used prescription opioids prior to trying heroine.

Who can get addicted?

Anyone can get addicted. Whether you’re rich, poor, male, female, have a PhD or a GED, it doesn’t matter. If you take opioids, you have the possibility of becoming addicted. The more frequently an individual takes opioids, the more their body will adapt to having the drug in their system. If a body adapts to and forms a tolerance of opioids, they will then require a higher and/or more frequent amount of opioids to get the same “high.”

If you are someone you know is facing legal charges related to opioid addiction, it is imperative to have the right attorney in place while facing theses challenging times.