Opioids are drugs that slow down the actions of the body, such as breathing and heartbeat. Opioids also affect the brain to increase pleasant feelings.
Doctors prescribe opioid medication to treat pain and sometimes for other health problems such as severe coughing. The medication comes in a pill, a liquid, or a wafer. It also comes in a patch worn on the skin.
• Codeine—an ingredient in some cough syrups and in one Tylenol® product
• Hydrocodone—Vicodin®, Lortab®, or Lorcet®
• Oxycodone—Percocet®, OxyContin®, or Percodan®
• Hydromorphone—Dilaudid® • Morphine—MSContin®, MSIR®, Avinza®, or Kadian®
• Propoxyphene—Darvocet® or Darvon®
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. Impure heroin is usually dissolved, diluted, and injected into the veins, muscles, or under the skin. A nationwide survey indicates that heroin users are attracted to the drug not only for the “high” but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers.
Know how to spot the signs of addiction.
According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, here are some of the most common indicators of drug abuse:
- Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
- Frequent nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
- Seizures without a history of epilepsy.
- Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
- Impaired coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they won’t or can’t tell you about- they don’t know how they got hurt.
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
- Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.
- Behavioral signs of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Skipping class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school.
- Drop in attendance and performance at work--loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise--decreased motivation.
- Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
- Missing money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing money.
- Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
- Clashes with family values and beliefs.
- Preoccupation with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters.
- Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
- Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
- Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
- Using incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs.
- Using eyedrops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.
- Psychological warning signs of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Unexplained, confusing change in personality and/or attitude.
- Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
- Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
- Appears fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason
Naloxone Can Reverse Overdoses and Save Lives.
Worcester County Health Department offers Naloxone trainings for free to all interested community members across the county. Trainings are offered virtually. If you would like to attend a free Naloxone training or learn more, please call the Worcester County Health Department at 410-632-1100 or complete this interest form.
Find Resources in Maryland. Visit Before It’s Too Late. A statewide online resource with information about naloxone and overdose prevention, drug treatment resources, family support services, prescription drop-off services, and much more.
This service is free and kits can be obtained by mail.
MARYLAND CRISIS HELPLINE
Maryland’s Crisis Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can utilize the helpline for information about naloxone access, drug treatment, suicide prevention, mental health resources, or just to talk.
Call 2-1-1 and press 1, or text your ZIP code to 898-211.
Every hour of every day, people need essential human services. They are looking for help finding affordable housing, food, employment training, utility payment assistance, services for their children or aging parents, and many other issues.
2-1-1 Maryland is a partnership of four agencies working together to provide simple access to health and human services information. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with important community services. Our specially trained call specialists answer calls 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The 2-1-1 database has information on nearly 5,000 agencies and programs across the state. Each week 2-1-1 Maryland handles thousands of calls from people in need, providing referrals to services and helping people problem-solve when the services they need are not available.
Whether you are an individual looking for help for yourself, a friend or family member, or someone who works for an agency calling on behalf of someone you serve, we are here to help you find resources to help solve your problem. Call us by dialing 2-1-1 on your phone or explore the website and database at 211md.org
Throw out expired medications. Most opioid abusers don’t begin with heroin and instead start by misusing prescription opioids like painkillers which may only require a trip to the family medicine cabinet. It is vital for parents and guardians to realize that even if their doctor prescribed it, an opioid can be dangerous and addictive if misused. Medicine cabinets need to be monitored and expired prescriptions disposed of safely. There are three medicine drop-boxes across Worcester at both the northern and southern ends of the county.