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S A M H S A Opioid Overdose TOOLKIT: Safety Advice for Patients & Family Members
Opioids include drugs such as heroin and prescription medications used to treat pain such as morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), fentanyl (Duragesic, Fentora), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), and buprenorphine (Suboxone). Opioids work by binding to specific receptors in the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract. In doing so, they minimize the body’s perception of pain. Stimulating the opioid receptors or “reward centers” in the brain also can trigger other systems of the body, such as those responsible for regulating mood, breathing, and blood pressure.