Opioids are a type of medicine that doctors prescribe to help people manage severe pain. They work by attaching to specific parts of the brain and body called opioid receptors. This attachment blocks pain signals and can also create feelings of pleasure or relaxation.

While opioids can be a very effective medication for pain relief prescribed by doctors, they also have risks. They can be highly addictive, which means some people may start to rely on them even when they don’t need them anymore. Misusing opioids or taking them in ways not prescribed by a doctor can be dangerous and even life-threatening. This classification of drug has found its way into the illegal drug market and raises concern for public health as illegally produced opioids can contain unknown additives raising health risks.

Common opioid medications include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. It’s important to use opioids exactly as your doctor prescribes and to talk to them about any concerns or side effects you experience.


FENTANYL: Since illegal drugs are not regulated by the government, dangerous additives can be present in street drugs, such as illegally produced fentanyl powder.

– Fentanyl is a powerful pain relief medication, much stronger than other opioids (morphine, codeine, oxycodone, etc.). Very small amounts—a few grains of powder—can cause overdose or even death.

– You cannot smell, taste, or see fentanyl if it has been added to another drug. Dealers may not know if the drugs they are selling have been contaminated or how potent the dose is.

Counterfeit Pills – What You Need to Know – Fact Sheet

CAMH | Fentanyl

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose for 30 – 90 mins, in order to get the person to a hospital. 

Take-home Naloxone kits and training are available for free and without a prescription for people at risk of overdose and their family and friends.

Get Naloxone from:
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (health card not required) by calling 705-721-7520
or visit a participating pharmacy.

For more information on Naloxone (how it works, how to use it) visit ontario.ca/page/get-naloxone-kits-free

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