Introduction

Opioids are a drug class that includes the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. In 2016 more than 42,000 people died from overdoses involving opioids, and 40% of all opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid. Every day in the United States more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for not using prescription opioids as directed. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioid addiction is driving this epidemic.

This course challenges preconceptions about addiction and about who can become addicted to opioids. Our primary goals are to reduce the stigma that exists around addiction, help prevent overdose deaths and encourage people to learn about the multiple pathways to treatment. You will learn about these topics from a variety of medical experts and hear from people who have experienced addiction themselves, or who have lost a family member to an overdose.

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