Stop Opioid Overdose

What is an opioid and what is opioid addiction?

  • Opioids are a class of drugs that includes the illegal drug heroin as well as power pain relievers available by prescription, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and many others.
  • Opioids bind to receptors on the nerve cells in the brain and body to reduce pain and suppress coughs when used as prescribed, but can also cause intense euphoria or intense high that can lead to dependence and/or addiction, wether the drug ingested is heroin or a legally prescribed drug.
  • Opioids can be swallowed or crushed and inhaled or injected.
  • Opioid overdose effects include severe depression of the respiratory system or (slow breathing), potentially causing respiratory arrest or (stop breathing),  unconsciousness, and death.  Nausea, mental confusion, drowsiness, severe sweats and constipation are symptoms of opioid dependence and withdrawal.
  • Fentanyl an opioid  that can be 50 and 100 times stronger than heroin or prescription opioids, it is often mixed with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other "street drugs".
  • Overdose deaths often result from a user not knowing that they have purchased or used fentanyl and believe that they have purchased heroin or prescription pills.