How do people misuse prescription opioids?

Prescription opioids used for pain relief are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but they can be misused. People misuse prescription opioids by:

  • Taking the medicine in a way or dose other than prescribed
  • Taking someone else's prescription medicine
  • Taking the medicine for the effect it causes-to get high

When misusing a prescription opioid, a person can swallow the medicine in its normal form. Sometimes people crush pills or open capsules, dissolve the powder in water, and inject the liquid into a vein. Some also snort the powder.

Show All Answers

1. What are opioids?
2. What are prescription opioids?
3. What are common prescription opioids?
4. What are some possible effects of prescription opioids on the brain and body?
5. How do people misuse prescription opioids?
6. How do prescription opioids affect the brain?
7. What are the other health effects of opioid medications?