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Navajo Nation Social Services for Native American Teenagers - Diné Youth Network

If you have had a sports injury, dental work, or surgery, it is possible your doctor gave you a pain reliever that was actually an opioid medication.

Did you know opioids affect parts of the brain that control how you feel pleasure? People usually start to take these drugs because they want to for pain relief or other reasons. Their use can lead to brain changes that challenge a person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.Some people may want to take them even when they are not in pain, which can lead to addiction.

What makes opioid medications effective for treating pain can also make them dangerous.At lower doses, opioids may make you feel sleepy, but higher doses can slow your breathing and heart rate, which can lead to death. And the feelings of pleasure that result from taking an opioid can make you want to continue experiencing those feelings, which may lead to addiction.

Anyone who takes opioids can become addicted to them.

What are opioids?

Opioids are drugs prescribed by a doctor that block pain signals from reaching our brain to relieve pain.

Types of Opioids

  • Prescription Opioids

Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and are often prescribed following surgery or an injury. When prescribed by a doctor, prescription opioids can be used in a responsible way to reduce pain.

  • Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic (man-made) opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. Can be illegally made and mixed with other drugs like heroin and cocaine.

  • Heroin

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug made from morphine.

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