NSC: Opioid painkillers as addictive as heroin

Forty-five percent of Americans who use opioid painkillers are not aware they are taking an opioid or that the drug can be as addictive as heroin, according to the results of a recent National Safety Council survey. Opioids and heroin share a similar chemical makeup and produce the same effects when taken.

“Americans should not be fooled: an opioid painkiller is the equivalent of legal heroin,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a press release. “The drugs in our medicine cabinets can be just as addictive as illicit ones.”

Drug overdoses are a leading cause of unintentional injury death among Americans. For more information, visit nsc.org/rxpainkillers