Chapter 9.0: Opioids

Reading Objectives

The readings for this chapter concerned with opioids introduces concepts essential for understanding the nature of these substances, opioid misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD), and the “opioid epidemic” declared by health officials in the United States. After engaging with these reading materials and learning resources, you should be able to:

  • Explain similarities and differences between opiates, opioids, narcotics, heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil;
  • Describe effects of opioid substances and how they are administered;
  • Identify key features of the recent “opioid epidemic” and overdose statistics;
  • Explain basic principles of neonatal withdrawal syndrome (NWS);
  • Define key terms related to opioids


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Introduction to Substance Use Disorders by Patricia Stoddard Dare and Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.