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Opioid Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Opioids are a class of highly addictive drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. These drugs often give people a “high” by inducing feelings of pleasure and relaxedness. After use, users are at risk to develop opioid addiction disorder, or in other words, an opioid addiction.

Heroin is a commonly used illicit opioid. Some of the most commonly used prescription opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)

Anyone who takes an opioid for a prolonged period of time is at risk of opioid use disorder, which amplifies the risk for overdose.

You are at risk for an opioid overdose if you…

  • have a history of substance abuse or non-fatal overdoses
  • have certain medical conditions like liver or lung disease, HIV or depression
  • mix opioids with alcohol or benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan or Valium that make you sleepy
  • take high doses of prescription opioids
  • inject opioids
  • smoke cigarettes or have a respiratory illness
  • do not know the strength and dosage of prescription opioids or the purity of street drugs
  • Recently completed a detoxification program or been released from
  • incarceration, which lowered your opioid tolerance

An opioid overdose has symptoms like…

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Non-responsive to outside stimulus
  • Awake, but unable to speak
  • Breathing is very slow and shallow, or has stopped completely
  • Choking sounds, or the “death rattle”
  • Blue or gray tint

If you think someone is overdosing, the best practice is to call 9-1-1 and administer naloxone.

Naloxone is a non-addictive prescription medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Specifically, naloxone reverses the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, which allows an overdose victim to breathe. Naloxone has no downside, because the drug has no negative impact if opioids are not present, but will work immediately if opioids are present. It can be administered by anyone by injection into the muscle or vein, or by nasal spray.

Naloxone is available as prescription medication, and some states, including Texas, allow the reversal agent to be distributed to the public without a prescription from a physician via a standing order.

A naloxone rescue kit can be obtained from a community pharmacy or via community distribution and education programs. Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart have committed to stocking and providing kits. Most insurance plans including TX Medicaid will pay for naloxone rescue kits or you can pay cash.

External Opioid Resources