Opioid Overdose Prevention
What is an Opioid:
An opioid is
Risk Factors for opioid overdose:
- Mixing opioids with certain other medicines, illegal drugs, or with alcohol
- Taking opioids after a period of not being on them ( while in jail, rehab or detox)
- Taking opioids called methadone without supervision
- Taking high doses of opioids
- Previous opioid overdose
- Having kidney, liver or breathing problems
Signs of an opioid overdose:
- Slow shallow
- Blue or grey lips or fingernails
- Pale and/moist skin
- Unable to wake-up or respond
How can I be prepared for an opioid overdose?
Just like homes, a fire extinguisher in case of fire can help avoid a disaster. People who carry naloxone in case of an opioid overdose is essential for avoiding a crisis. Naloxone is a medicine that can be given by a family member, friend, or caregiver and can stop the effects of opioids for a short time. Within 2 to 5 minutes, it will help to start breathing again until EMS can arrive.
NC Standing Order for Naloxone
Naloxone can be prescribed by a doctor, or it can be purchased without a prescription at most pharmacies in NC.
In June 2016 there was a standing order by the North Carolina State Health Director to authorize local pharmacies to provide Naloxone products and educational information to persons meeting certain criteria.
911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access Law
This law in North Carolina protects people who ask for help from 911, the police, or E.M.S. because they or another person is having a drug overdose. The law in North Carolina also protects people who give Naloxone to someone who is having an overdose. No one should be afraid to call in about an overdose because of prosecution.
To help individuals who struggle with addiction and mental health disorders (Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Disorders) integrate back into society.