If you or someone you know may have overdosed on opioids,
call 9-1-1 immediately!
2,265,300 opioid prescriptions were disspensed in 2018.
80% of heroin users started with prescription opioids.
Opioids are highly addictive narcotics commonly prescribed to treat pain. Opioids affect the brain and body. In addition to constipation, nausea, and dizziness, other adverse health concerns include Slowed breathing (sign of an overdose), can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, or death.
Common opioids include oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, among others.
- On average 475 people a year in Utah die from unintentional drug poisoning deaths.
- Between 2016-2018, Utah ranked 28th in the U.S. for unintentional drug poisoning deaths, which have outpaced deaths due to firearms, falls, and motor vehicle crashes. (1)
- On average in Utah a year, 323 people die from a prescription opioid drug overdose, 156 people die from a heroin overdose, and 88 people die from synthetic opioid overdose. (2)
- Living in a household with substance abuse is an Adverse Childhood Experience.
Signs of an Overdose
- Know what the signs of an opioid overdose are:
- Small, pinpoint pupils
- Blue/purple fingernail and lips
- Won’t wake up, limp body
- Shallow or stopped breathing
- Faint heartbeat
- Gurgling or choking noise
Reverse an Overdose
An opioid overdose can be reversed by administering naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan. Narcan is a prescription medication used to reverse an opioid overdose, including an overdose from prescription opioids or from heroin. It is used to wake up people from an overdose. It usually works within 3-5 minutes and, depending on the device, is effective when sprayed in the nose or injected in a muscle. For more information visit naloxone.utah.gov.
Ways to Prevent an Opioid Overdose
- Talk to your doctor about alternatives to prescription opioids.
- Never share your prescription opioids with anyone.
- Store prescription opioids out of reach, with the label attached, and with the child-resistant cap secured.
- Dispose of all unused and expired prescription opioids properly. Take your unused prescription opioids to a permanent collection site or drop-off event. For more information visit www.useonlyasdirected.org.
- Know what the common opioids are and know the risks – dependency, addiction, or overdose. For more information visit www.opidemic.org.
- Have adequate availability of naloxone (Narcan). Carry it with you and know how to properly administer it. For more information visit naloxone.utah.gov.
- Harm reduction activities such as syringe exchange
- Be connected to school and school activities.
- Limit access to opioids.
- Encourage prescribers to use the prescription database.
- Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2016-2018). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer). [cited 2020 August].
- CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality. CDC WONDER, Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC: 2018. https://wonder.cdc.gov/. 2016-2018 data, numbers are not mutually exclusive.