October 10, 2019
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and drugs such as opioids can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.
Opioid misuse represents a unique challenge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Opioids include prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. While many people benefit from using these medications to manage pain, prescription drugs are frequently diverted for improper use.
As people use opioids repeatedly, their tolerance increases and they may not be able to maintain the source for the drugs. This can cause them to turn to the black market for these drugs and even switch from prescription drugs to cheaper and more risky substitutes like heroin. These substances vary in purity and strength, which increases the risk of serious medical complications or overdose.
SAMHSA has created the Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit to offer strategies to health care providers, communities, and local governments for developing practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Access reports for community members, prescribers, patients and families, and those recovering from opioid overdose.