Prevent Prescription Opioid, Heroin and Fentanyl Misuse
Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly binds to opioid receptors, blocking heroin from activating them. An appropriate dose of naloxone acts in less than 2 minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose.1 Between 1996 and 2014, naloxone reportedly reversed over 26,000 overdoses.2
Evzio and Narcan
Naloxone that can be used by nonmedical personnel has been shown to be cost-effective and save lives.
In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Naloxone hand-held auto-injector called Evzio®, which rapidly delivers a single dose of naloxone into the muscle or under the skin, buying time until medical assistance can arrive.3
Narcan® is an FDA approved prescription nasal spray that is used to stop a person from overdosing on opioids. It is a nasal form of naloxone.
Both Evzio® and Narcan® can be used on both adults and children and can be administered by first responders, family members, or caregivers.
Naloxone in Tennessee
Naloxone is available across the state. Find out how you can get the opioid overdose reversal drug with or without a prescription in Tennessee.
1Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
2Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone to Laypersons — United States, 2014.
3Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
When it comes to preventing drug use among young people, education plays a very important role. This page contains online drug education resources – lesson plans, activities, videos – from different websites targeted to various grade levels that both parents and teachers can use.
In addition, get information on how you can help students you think may have a problem, and more.
Drug Education Resources
Drugs and Your Body - Interactive (For grades 6-12)
Scholastic and the scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have created this poster/teaching guide, Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty, to provide factual details and critical-thinking questions on the effects drugs have on the developing brain and body.
Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body (For grades 6-12)
NIDA and Scholastic teamed up to create a treasure trove of resources for both teachers and teens about the dangers of drug use in general and the dangers of specific drugs as well. You can access them using the links below.
DEA and Discovery Education teamed up to produce Operation Prevention's classroom resources to provide educators with engaging tools that are aligned to national health and science standards and integrate seamlessly into classroom instruction. Through a series of hands-on investigations, these resources introduce students to the science behind opioids and their impact on the brain and body. Go to the site. Watch: Learn more about Operation Prevention
Take your students on a virtual journey! Opioids: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science. is currently featured on the Operation Prevention website’s Virtual Field Trip section. During the journey, you'll meet two retired professional athletes, a musician and three generations -- all affected by opioid misuse in some way. The trip includes a companion guide that can be used to prepare your students for the “trip.” Go to the site.
This toolkit offers science-based activities and resources on drug use and addiction for educating teens during out of school time (OST). The OST setting—before and after school, in the summer, or any time teens attend a supervised program outside of the typical school time—offers a unique opportunity for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning. Read more.
Organized by grade level, this page contains a collection of tools and activities teachers can use to develop anti-drug lessons. Feel free to use them as a resource during Red Ribbon Week or anytime during the school year. Go to the site.
Are you interested in lessons or activities focused on a specific drug? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has an awesome Lesson Plan Finder that features FREE science-based lessons and interactive activities on teens and drugs. Go to their site to check it out.
Also, see quick facts about each drug below:
Marijuana: Facts for Teens (NIDA)
Opioids and Prescription Drugs
Understanding the Opioid Epidemic (PBS.org)
Opioid Facts for Teens (NIDA)
Check out this awareness campaign and toolkit for parents, teachers, school administrators, and teens.
Print out these posters to hang in your classrooms. The posters feature eye-opening facts about vaping.
Before taking any action, it is important to consult the written guidelines your school or school system may have with regards to this matter. As a supplement, you may find the resources below helpful.
If you work in a school setting you may be looking for information about youth substance use, the most commonly used drugs, the latest reserach and more. The Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released a guide for school staff. Read more.
Other Drug Enforcement Administration Websites
Created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) specifically for young people, this site provides information about drugs and their consequences. Go to the site.
This website is a part of DEA’s effort to support drug abuse prevention programs on college campuses and in surrounding communities. Go to the site.
Prescription Opioid Misuse Leads to Heroin Abuse
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of new heroin users report having abused prescription opioids before using heroin.1
In 2015 alone, Tennessee providers wrote 118.3 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, which amounted to 7.8 million prescriptions in the state. This rate was higher than the U.S. rate that same year (70 opioid prescriptions per 100 people). Between 2008 and 2016, opioid overdose deaths have increased in Tennessee each year.2
For decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide had been steadily increasing, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. But in 2018, the number of overall opioid deaths dropped to 46,802.
In 2017, there were 1,269 opioid-related overdose deaths in Tennessee, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse's "Tennessee Opioid Summary." That puts the state's opioid death rate at 19.3 deaths per 100,000 people -- which is higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000.2
During recent years, opioid deaths have been steadily increasing. In particular, fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed: rising from 77 deaths in 2012 to 590 deaths in 2017 -- an increase of over 500%.
Opioid deaths in the state have increased every year from 2008 to 2016. In particular, heroin deaths skyrocketed more than 1,400 percent from 2010 (when there were 17 deaths) to 2016 (when there were 260 deaths).
Knox County Overdoses
In Knox County, drug overdose deaths increased from 224 in 2016 to 316 deaths in 2017 -- 41.7 percent.
About 50 percent of those deaths were due to fentanyl and its analogues.
1Heroin Overdose Data. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Source URL: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/heroin.html
2"Tennessee Opioid Summary". National Institute on Drug Abuse. Source URL: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/tennessee-opioid-summary
- The vast majority of teens do not use heroin. In a 2018 national survey, only 0.4% of 12th graders used heroin in the past year.
- 96.4 percent of 12th graders disapprove of taking heroin occasionally.
- About 165,000 young people between 18 to 25 reported having a heroin use disorder in the past year.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:
- Prescription opioid analgesics, specifically those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone, are the most common types of prescription drugs that are diverted for misuse and abused.
- Each day in the United States, over 192 people die as a result of a drug overdose.
- In 2017, an estimated 3.2 million people (aged 12 or older) reported current misuse of pain relievers.
- 53% of nonmedical users (12 years or older) reported receiving the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.”
- Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
- Drug deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (which includes fentanyl) increased almost 47% from 2016 to 2017.
Explore common misconceptions about opioids through the voices of teens. Go to Operation Prevention.
1 Source: University of Michigan, 2018 Monitoring the Future Study. View source here.
2 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
3 Source: Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. View source here.
4 Source: Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
5 Source: Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. View source here.
6 Source: “Fentanyl: Illicitly-made fentanyl use is on the rise." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. View source here.
Whenever Jeremy, walked into the room, those in his company felt energy: an enthusiastic spontaneity. Jeremy was a clever and gregarious person who always looked for the best qualities in other people. Jeremy was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve him well throughout his life. Read more.
Need Someone to Talk to?
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has trained professionals to available via phone and online chat to help parents who think their loved one is struggling with addiction. Learn more.
If you need help with substance misuse, call the Tennessee REDLINE for 24 hour assistance at 1.800.889.9789. Learn more about the organization.
Help for Veterans
Veterans Affairs offers a number of options for those seeking treatment for substance use problems. These options include therapy, either alone with the therapist or in a group, as well as medications to help veterans reduce their use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Learn more on their website.
MDC is a nonprofit organization established 33 years ago by a joint resolution of City of Knoxville and Knox County to unite policy makers and leaders to address community substance abuse issues.
If you want to get involved in the DEA 360 Strategy you can start by educating yourself on the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, and then share what you have learned with your family, friends, community, neighbors, etc.
Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization.
Properly dispose of prescription drugs.
If you have prescription drugs that have expired or you no longer need you can deposit them into prescription drop-off boxes located in your community.