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 75% in 2021, 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; 2022. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov.
- Hedegaard H, Miniño AM, Spencer MR, Warner M. Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2020. National Center for Health Statistics [PDF], December 2021.
- Spencer MR, Miniño AM, Warner M. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 2001–2021. NCHS Data Brief, no 457. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:122556