What are opioids?

Prescription opioids (such as OxyContin, Percocet, Opana, and Vicodin) can be used safely to treat pain when they’re taken the way a doctor tells you to take them. For some people, opioids can be addictive and can cause serious health problems – even an overdose or death.

Street opioids (like heroin) are more dangerous than prescription opioids because they can have harmful drugs or chemicals mixed into them. There is no way to know what has been mixed in them. This means that you might be at risk of an overdose. Street opioids can also have different strengths depending on who or where you buy them from. Sometimes, street opioids are made into fake prescription pills. If you use street opioids, there are some steps you can take to prevent overdose.


A deadly opioid called fentanyl is being added to drugs like heroin and cocaine. There is no way to tell if it has been mixed into your drugs. Fentanyl overdoses happen quickly so have someone ready to call 911. Here is where you can learn how to stay safe with fentanyl.

Knowing the Risks of Opioid Prescription Pain Medications

Watch this video to learn about the risks of opioid prescriptions. The video also covers non-opioid treatment options, how to safely store opioids, and side effects of opioids.



Safer drug use practices

Learn how to be safer when you use drugs

Safer drug use – infographics

Learn about specific actions to use drugs safer with these shareable infographics.

Responding to an overdose – infographics

Make sure you respond adequately to an overdose with these shareable infographics.