Explain the role of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic.

Fentanyl is a potent, fast-acting opioid that’s 50-100 times as strong as morphine. It is a growing contributor to the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. In 2017, approximately two-thirds of people who died of drug read more

What are “opiates” or “opioids?”

Opioids usually come in pill form and are prescribed to reduce pain. Medical doctors and dentists prescribe them after surgery or to help patients with severe pain or pain that lasts a long time. When opioids are taken read more

Does everyone who develops an addiction to prescription painkillers move on to heroin?

Not everyone who uses prescription painkillers does or will use heroin. However, a survey of opioid users in Philadelphia indicated that more than half of the respondents reported using pills before heroin. In read more

What can I do to make sure my child doesn’t get involved with drugs?

There is no guaranteed protection against substance use, but there are protective factors. These factors reduce the chances that your child will use drugs or alcohol and develop an addiction. Parents often feel that read more

What’s the difference between treatment and Twelve Step support groups?

Twelve Step support groups are a form of peer support. They are the most widely available mutual support groups for people trying to break the cycle of addiction and those in recovery. In addition there are other peer read more

What’s the difference between detox and treatment?

Detox is a process of managing the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal. Detox may be medically managed in an inpatient facility or hospital. It may also occur on an outpatient basis. Detox is a short-term process, read more

I have some reservations about the use of methadone or Suboxone to recover from opiate addiction. Isn’t that just trading one addiction for another?

Used properly, medications do not create another addiction. Medications allow an addicted person to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows. It frees the person from thinking all the time about read more

What should I do with old medications?

There are several safe ways to dispose of unused medications. Many regions in Pennsylvania have medication drop boxes which allow citizens to turn in unused drugs in specific locations. Medications can also be placed read more

Are heroin and prescription painkillers basically the same thing? What’s the difference?

Prescription opioids and heroin affect the brain and body very similarly. Therefore, people who misuse or become addicted to prescription pain relievers may also develop problems with heroin. In interviews, people who read more

Is it risky to use any prescription painkiller?

All medications carry risks. Pain medications that contain synthetic opiates (also known as opioids) are no exception. If you are prescribed opioid medications by your doctor, thoroughly discuss the risks and benefits read more