Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

The time to take action against this epidemic is now.

Understand the Risks

What are opioids?

Opioids – natural or synthetic, illicit or otherwise – act on the body’s opioid receptors and all carry similar risks of dependency, addiction and overdose.

Heroin is the most commonly understood opioid, and as an illicit drug, it poses additional risks.
Learn More >>

Deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids rose 72% in just one year.
What you need to know about fentanyl >>


Could there be opioids in your medicine cabinet?

Many commonly prescribed pain medications contain opioids. If misused or abused, these drugs can cause severe harm. Understand the risks of any opioids in your medicine cabinet.
Learn More >>


What is the link between prescription drugs and the opioid epidemic?

Explore this interactive infographic to better understand and get a more complete picture.
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Protect Your Family & Community

Safeguard Medications

Control access to medications in your home. Dispose of unused or expired medicine.
Learn how >>


Get information about how to safely dispose of prescription drugs in your community
Download now >>

Talk & Educate

Have honest, open communication about substance use and medicine abuse with your family. Our Parent Talk Kit can help families in any situation.
Learn More >>

Educate your community by screening a documentary created by a teen filmmaker who captures teen prescription drug abuse as it exists in his world.
Learn More >> 

Learn about Naloxone (Narcan), which can prevent overdose deaths.
Learn more >>

Ensure prescribers are equipped to be proactive in identifying and helping patients at risk for prescription drug abuse.

Get Help for a Loved One

The tools and resources throughout this site can help you make a plan and begin to effectively address a loved one’s substance use. For those struggling with opioid use, be sure to explore:
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids >>

SAMSHA’s Treatment Locator can be used to:
Find a Buprenorphine (Suboxone) doctor in your area >>


Find a Naltrexone (Vivitrol) doctor in your area >>

Access Community Presentations

You can help educate your community about the risks of heroin and other opioids. This presentation is designed to be delivered by law enforcement in collaboration with health care, prevention and treatment professionals. Please share your contact information so that you can receive program updates and information.

Presentations and related materials include:

Connect with Additional Resources

Local Information

Select your state from the box below to obtain links to your state’s substance abuse agency, statewide heroin + other
opioid initiative, and Partnership alliance (if available). State substance abuse agencies typically provide information on local treatment
resources, prevention programs and usage levels and trends.