Even though opioids are prescribed by a doctor, using them in any way other than prescribed, even occasionally, is dangerous. The way prescription opioids affect your brain is the same as heroin, making them both risky and highly addictive.

While opioids are prescribed for certain short-term pain, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that 3 days or less of opioid treatment is usually enough, while opioid use for more than 7 days is rarely needed nor effective. Vermont’s new pain prescribing rule limits the length of someone’s first pain reliever prescription to 3 to 7 days. A number of options for managing pain are available, and most of these are not opioids.

Opioids can also be illicitly produced, like heroin and fentanyl, and are extremely dangerous. Click on the video to learn more.