How Similar are Heroin and Prescription Opioids?

Heroin is an illicit street drug that produces a drowsy, euphoric high. Prescription opioids are legal medications prescribed by doctors to treat pain. Both heroin and prescription painkillers belong to the family of drugs known as opioids, which act upon particular receptors in the brain and body to produce their effects.

Heroin and prescription opioids may seem like very different drugs, but they are actually remarkably similar in both effects and dangers.

Heroin Opioids Infographic
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Lauren Brande, MA, has dedicated her life to psychological research. She started off her career with a scholarship from the Western Psychological Association for her undergraduate work in perceptual processing. In 2014, she achieved her master of arts in psychology from Boston University, harnessing a particular interest in the effects that drugs and trauma have on the functioning brain.

She believes that all research should be accessible and digestible, and her passion fuels her desire to share important scientific findings to improve rehabilitation.

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