Why People Can Become Addicted to Opioids

Dr. Rodgers is joined by Dr. Nora Volkow, who explains that in some people, prescription opioids can produce euphoria – or a high.

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DR. RODGERS: You may know that prescription drug misuse is a big problem in the United States. Did you know that opioids account for the greatest amount of the problem? Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains:

DR. VOLKOW: Prescription opioids are medications that relieve pain. However, they also activate brain regions involved with reward which is why, in some people, they can produce euphoria – or a high.

This may make some people use opioids in ways other than those prescribed and result in addiction. This can also increase the risk of an overdose, which can kill you.

It is important to take prescription opioids as directed. And if you become addicted, seek treatment as soon as possible.

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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