Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce pain.
The number of drug overdose deaths remain high, and the majority of these deaths, over 70% in 2019, involved opioids3.
Find definitions for acute pain, chronic pain, addiction, tolerance, and other commonly used terms in the opioid overdose epidemic.
- Algren D, Monteilh C, Rubin C, et al. Fentanyl-associated fatalities among illicit drug users in Wayne County, Michigan (July 2005-May 2006). Journal Of Medical Toxicology: Official Journal of the American College Of Medical Toxicology [serial online]. March 2013; 9(1):106-115.
- Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2020. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov.
- Mattson CL, Tanz LJ, Quinn K, Kariisa M, Patel P, Davis NL. Trends and Geographic Patterns in Drug and Synthetic Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:202–207. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7006a4external icon.