Some Pennsylvania residents may wonder if the opioid epidemic is really as severe as they hear it is. It is important to understand what opioids are and why the epidemic is serious.
In order for people to understand the opioid epidemic, they first need to understand what opioids are. MedlinePlus says that these are a particular kind of drug that is most often used to alleviate pain. If people undergo surgery or incur a severe injury, doctors sometimes prescribe this medication. While opioids can help people manage their pain, some people may become dependent on these medications if they use them for too long, and this dependence may lead to an addiction.