Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine. Many opioids produce a sense of euphoria and may result in addiction. Opioid drugs also pose the danger of accidental overdose, which can cause permanent organ damage and death.*
Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the state of Georgia and across our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
Most overdoses occur in the presence of others. Fear of arrest and prosecution prevent many people from calling 9-1-1. Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law protects victims and callers seeking medical assistance at drug or alcohol overdose scenes.
To find out more about the signs of opioid overdose, the most commonly abused opioids, and Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law, check out the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Emergency Help for Opioid Overdoses.
There are also steps we can take to avoid opioid misuse and addiction.
*Information provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health.