Opioid Addiction

People are dying from prescription drug overdoses at record levels

Spilled pills

What is an Opioid?

Opioids are drugs derived from opium, including commonly-used prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Morphine and Codeine. Illegal substances such as heroin are also opioids.

What is the Problem?

People are dying from prescription drug overdoses at record levels. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Even more alarming, more than half of the people who abuse prescription drugs get them for free from a family member. This is why safely disposing of leftover prescription drugs is a crucial step in turning the tide on this epidemic.

Driven to defeat addiction

University of Minnesota researchers are developing new, non-addictive painkillers. These drugs could help people suffering from chronic pain, without the risk of addiction.

Drug Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and medications.

Safe Drug Disposal

Prescription medication plays an important role in treating pain associated with certain conditions and diseases, but prescriptions must be handled with care. Unused portions of pain medicines must be disposed of properly to avoid harm. The Academic Health Center has compiled some important information about safe disposal of medicines.

General disposal information

If you are unable to find a drug disposal location nearby, you can contact your local doctor, pharmacy, or police department to find out if they can accept your prescription drugs, or if they have a drug mail-back program with drug mail-back packages available. Legitimate packages should include pre-paid postage, unique ID numbers, and be pre-addressed to a location authorized by the DEA. Avoid leaving packages in unsecured mailboxes.

Overdose Prevention

Pain medication has a high incidence of overdose. Naloxone (Narcan®) is a medication used to prevent opioid overdose death by reversing the toxic effects of the drugs. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) encourages Minnesotans to have naloxone on hand for themselves, family members, or anyone else at risk of overdose.

For information on how to get Naloxone: Naloxone now and Dose of Reality MN

Substance abuse and Recovery

With support and assistance, you can recover from substance abuse and live a fuller life. You’ll recover physically, psychologically, interpersonally and spiritually. Treatment services include assessment and referral, medically supervised withdrawal management, inpatient-to-outpatient treatment, family counseling and aftercare.

MHealth Recovery Treatment Programs 

Abuse Prevention

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids