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    Your Comprehensive Guide to the Opioid Epidemic — and What You Can Do About It

    Fueled by drugs like heroin, fentanyl and the misuse of prescription pain pills, the opioid epidemic has impacted countless families. Prepared with greater knowledge, parents and families can identify opioids, spot early use and take action effectively

    What can you do

    If your son or daughter is actively using opioids, you’re probably experiencing a range of challenging emotions and concerns. You’re not alone in this struggle. We hope the information found in our Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids e-book, along with available support services, can help move you and your child forward in a healthy direction.

    Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids

    Learn about how the opioid epidemic began, how you can keep your community safe and how to help a loved one who is struggling.

    Download now

    Key takeaways

    There’s a lot of information provided in the e-book and throughout this site. Keep these key points in mind.

    • Prevention begins with having on-going conversations about the risks of substance use, especially opioids (i.e., prescription pain medications like Percocet® and Vicodin®, as well as heroin).

    • Seek non-opioid alternatives to manage your child’s pain from any injuries, dental work or other situations requiring pain management.

    • Monitor, secure and properly dispose of any prescription pain medications in your home. It may be tempting to keep some "just in case," but the safer option is to dispose of all expired or unused medication. Family and friends are the primary source of misused prescription medicine.

    • Know the signs of opioid misuse such as pinpoint pupils, fatigue, weight loss, drug paraphernalia, wearing long sleeves, etc.

    • If your child is misusing opioids, get an evaluation to determine your treatment options. Comprehensive, evidence-based treatment works — the earlier you intervene and take action, the better.

    • Get and know how to use naloxone in case of overdose.

    • Practice self-care, which may include your own counseling and attending a support group. You are your child's best advocate and your resiliency matters.

    Connecting with Your Teenager

    Learn ways to create a strong bond with your child to help reduce their chances of engaging in risky behavior. Read More

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    Alternatives to Opioids

    If your child is in recovery or you're worried about them using opioids, there are many alternatives that can help alleviate their pain. Read More

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    Safeguard Against Medicine Misuse: Securing and Disposing Medications

    Two-thirds of teens who report misusing Rx medication get it from friends, family and acquaintances. Learn proper storage and disposal to help prevent misuse. Read More

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    Navigating the Treatment System

    Figuring out the type of care needed, getting your loved one into a program and getting it covered by insurance aren't easy. Get the full picture. Read More

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    Naloxone: Overdose Reversal Drug

    In the event of an opioid overdose (including heroin and prescribed pain medications), naloxone can reverse an overdose and save a life. Read More

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    Self-care is essential to managing the stress, anxiety and other negative emotions that come with helping a loved one through addiction and substance use. Read More

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    Last Updated

    October 2023