©2019 by The Friends of Prevention Coalition of Richmond


What are Opioids, and How Do People Become Addicted?

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Opiates originated from the poppy plant and have been used to relieve pain for thousands of years.

Opioids (also known as "opiates") originally come from the seeds of poppy plants and have been used for thousands of years to relieve pain. While some opioids still come from plants, others are created in laboratories.

Prescription opioids are used as pain medicine, and a short-term prescription from a doctor is generally OK. However, when taken too long or without a doctor's prescription, a person can become high, possibly leading to addiction, overdose, or even death.

Prescription opioids can include:

Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet)

Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet)



Patients can ask doctors for other types of medicine to take instead of opioids. If you have to take an opioid, be sure to carefully follow the prescription instructions.

Illegal opioids like heroin can also cause addiction, overdose, and death.

All opioids can be dangerous if not taken properly.

Be sure to ask your doctor about any pain medication you receive, and follow the prescription instructions carefully.

If someone is addicted to opioids, getting more drugs and becoming high can take over. Can you imagine if the things you love no longer made you feel happy?

Opioid misuse is pretty serious, but treatment is available, and people can get better!

In Virginia, you can take a REVIVE! course to potentially save someone from an opioid overdose emergency.

For more information on opioid misuse, REVIVE! courses, or treatment options, contact FOPC here.