What are opioids?
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Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids are psychoactive substances. This means that they affect your mind, mood, and mental processes and can also induce euphoria, or the feeling of being “high.”, which may lead people to misuse or abuse them.
There are prescriptions opioids including:
- methadone (medical heroin)
Opioids can also be produced or obtained illegally, such as heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed to treat severe pain. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug because it is 20 to 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, which makes the risk of accidental overdose very high.
What is carfentanil?
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid similar to fentanyl, but around one hundred times stronger. It is commonly used by veterinarians as an aesthetic for large animals (e.g., horse and elephants). The strength of carfentanil makes it incredibly dangerous for use in humans, as the risk of overdose is very high.
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone (or Norcan) is a medication that can be used to block the effects of opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil, and can prevent overdose death. It is available as a nasal spray or an injectable dose, which must be given quickly to the user. For more information on Naloxone, including where to get a kit, visit the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy website, and click on “How to Access Naloxone” from the homepage.