Opioids are a class of narcotic drugs intended to reduce pain and induce sleep. Because of their action within the body, opioids have a high addictive potential. Prescribed opioid drugs are generally safe. However, because of their addictive potential they are regulated with monitoring by a physician and a licensed pharmacist (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2018).
The use of prescribed opioids as a method of treating chronic pain increased during the 1990s as of 2015, 2 million American’s were identified with a prescription opioid addiction. Three recommendations to combat this opioid crisis include safe, effective, non-addictive pain management strategies, innovative methods for treating opioid addiction, and the use of opioid overdose reversing drugs. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017). National and regional resources exist to help learn more and seek out resources for support.