These synthetic narcotics produce opiate-like effects on the body, yet they are not derived from opium. Opioids include fentanyl, meperidine, methadone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone.
The vast majority of those addicted to opioids began innocently; doctors prescribed these drugs to help their patients manage pain. Some patients say they become hooked on these highly-addictive narcotics even though they used them as prescribed.
Opioids kill more people in Kentucky than car crashes. In 2016, more than 1,400 people lost their lives to drug overdoses. Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky experienced the highest number of lethal overdoses, but nearly every community suffered fatalities. Leslie County had the highest number of deaths on a per capita basis, followed by Bell, Powell, Gallatin and Campbell counties.
Naloxone (Narcan®) is a prescription medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug. When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing. It can be given as an injection into a muscle or as a nasal spray.
Naloxone has no potential for abuse. If it is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. If naloxone is administered to a person who is experiencing an opioid overdose, it will produce withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by non-opioid drugs.
Naloxone should be stored at room temperature and away from light. The shelf life of naloxone is approximately two years.
Be on the lookout for specially painted rocks from the Governor’s Office, and others, as we work to raise awareness for combating opioid addiction through the Don’t Let Them Die campaign. When you find a rock, take a picture and post it with your own message of hope on your social media channels using #DLTD. Then hide it again for someone else to find!
Want to be a #ROCKSTAR? Encourage your organization, friends, and family to paint their own rocks. Make sure dontletthemdie.com and #DLTD are painted/drawn on as well, and hide them in YOUR community.
Together, Kentuckians can break the cycle of addiction. United we stand. Divided we fall. #WeAreKY
This video contains graphic images and descriptions and is not indended for all audiences. This is the reality of Heroin addiction.
Lexington native Alex Elswick is not the kind of person you’d expect to be addicted to Oxycodone and heroin.
Depiction of the impact of opioids on individuals and communities.
An all too real overdose 911 emergency phone call.