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See the signs of opioid abuse and find help

Opioid Abuse Disorder

Opioid abuse is one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky. Over the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who die from drug overdoses has steadily climbed to more than 1,000 each year, exacting a devastating toll on families, communities, social services and economic stability and growth.* 

How to identify and get help for those at risk of opioid abuse.

Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that relieve pain by binding to receptors in your brain or body to reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain. Opioid pain medications are sometimes prescribed by doctors to treat pain.

A loved one can:

    • Become dependent to pain medications easily
    • Become addicted to pain medications quickly
    • Later seek other opiate medications illegally
    • Seek using heroin as an alternative.

Common types include:
Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), Oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin), Oxymorphone (e.g, Opana) and Morphine.

What are the signs and symptoms for opioid medication abuse?

• Feeling no pain • Sedation
• Euphoria or feeling high • Shallow or slow breathing
• Small pupils • Nausea or vomiting
• Muscle ache • Anxiety
• Irritability • Craving for the drug
• Rapid breathing • Yawning
• Runny nose • Salivation

Please enter your location to find the Behavioral Health Service nearest you:

      * the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy