Opioid Overdose Prevention Strategies
Opioids – such as prescription painkillers, fentanyl, and heroin – are powerful drugs and are powerfully addictive. Opioids slow breathing and heartbeat, and act on the brain to relieve pain and increase feelings of pleasure. Addiction to opioid drugs is a serious public health problem, with potentially devastating consequences – both for people who have opioid use disorder and for our communities. These impacts ripple out to increase pressure on our health care, child protection, and criminal justice systems. With 210 Vermonters dying of opioid-related overdoses in 2021, overdose prevention strategies are key to saving lives and protecting our communities.
Steps for Lowering the Risk of an Opioid Overdose
Avoid Using Alone If you overdose while alone, you can die. Call NeverUseAlone if you don't have someone with you.
Use New New syringes reduce your risk of infections and help to protect vein health. Get new syringes.
Test for Fentanyl Fentanyl can be dangerous and is often found in opioids as well as other drugs like cocaine, meth and any other powder or pill. Test with easy-to-use strips. Get Fentanyl test strips.
Go Slow Start with a small amount to test drug strength.
Carry & Spray Carry Narcan® (naloxone) nasal spray and know how to use it, Narcan® saves lives. Get Narcan®.
Call 911 In case of overdose, call 911 and help save a life.
For more information, visit the Vermont Department of Health's Opioid Overdose Prevention webpage.