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NIDA

Opioids

Prescription Opioids and Heroin

Explores the relationship between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use, including prescription opioid use as a risk factor for heroin use, reasons why people progress from using prescription opioids to heroin, and the need for prevention and treatment.

Published: October 2015
Revised: December 2015

Although Relatively Few, “Doctor Shoppers” Skew Opioid Prescribing

One out of every 143 U.S. patients who received a prescription for an opioid painkiller in 2008 obtained prescriptions from multiple physicians in a pattern that suggests misuse or abuse of the drugs.

Expanded HIV Screening Projected To Decrease Spread of the Virus

Intensified screening for HIV among injection drug users receiving opioid agonist therapy could prevent more than twice as many new infections as current screening practice. A recent study based on mathematical modeling found that screening every 6 months instead of annually, and adding viral RNA testing to the currently used HIV antibody testing, could improve both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Examines the non-medical use of prescription drugs—opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants—describing adverse health effects of their use and the prevention and treatment of addiction.

Published: July 2001
Revised: November 2014

Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If you’re seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or go to www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state. 

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.

Heroin

Offers the latest scientific information on heroin use and its consequences as well as treatment options available for those struggling with heroin addiction. 

Published: October 1997
Revised: November 2014

ED-Initiated Buprenorphine Outperforms Referral or SBIRT for ED Patients With Opioid Addiction

Emergency department visits present prime opportunities to identify people with opioid addiction and provide them with onsite initiation of treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone.

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