Opioids are narcotic pain medications that contain natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic opiates. Opioids are often used for acute pain, such as short-term pain after surgery. Some examples of opioids include:
Opioids are effective for severe pain and do not cause bleeding in the stomach or other parts of the body, as can some other types of pain relievers. However, they can be extremely addictive, and doctors will try to find alternatives to prescribing them. It’s rare for people to become addicted to opioids if the drugs are used to treat pain for a short period of time. But if used to treat chronic pain, the risk of addiction is real and potentially dangerous.