NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Pain Medication

Man holding a needle to give a teen girl an injection.

The Connection Between Pain Medications and Heroin

Sara Bellum
April 02, 2014

More and more young people are using heroin these days, and sometimes they start using it because they’ve gotten addicted to prescription painkillers. Read More »

2 Comments
Choose Your Path BFF or the Ex

Prescription Opioid Abuse Can Lead to Heroin Abuse

Sara Bellum
May 03, 2012

You may have heard marijuana referred to as a “gateway drug,” meaning that it can open doors to other kinds of drug abuse. But did you know that prescription painkillers can be gateway drugs to heroin? Read More »

13 Comments

Prescription Drug Abuse: What's the Big Deal?

Sara Bellum
December 10, 2010

Lots of people are prescribed prescription drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin to help with pain from an injury or surgery. When taken as prescribed, these medications are safe; but when abused, they can be highly addictive and dangerous—even deadly. Read More »

39 Comments
Here is an image of a girl holding a pill.

Real Teens Ask: What Are Opioids?

Sara Bellum
June 07, 2010

Teens have a lot of questions about drugs, which is why NIDA holds an annual Drug Facts Chat Day to explain the science behind drug abuse. Read More »

19 Comments
Anna in NYC getting ready to eat a full meal.

Life is Complicated Enough: Why Add Prescription Drugs to the Mix?

Anna
September 02, 2009

As a public health analyst at NIDA, one of my jobs is to look at data and help get information out to the public. When I heard that about 1 in 10 high school seniors had used the pain medicine Vicodin last year without a prescription, I knew there was a problem. Read More »

24 Comments