In Louisiana, deaths involving the synthetic opioid fentanyl increased 500% since 2014. Learn more about the state's opioid epidemic.
Preventing Prescription Drug, Opioid and Synthetic Opioid Misuse
Most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family, friends, and acquaintances. You can make a difference by following these tips. Learn more.
What if you could look into the future and see what your life would be like if you became addicted to drugs? See how members of the YouTube comedy group SMOSH reacted when they came face-to-face with their "future selves." Watch.
Heroin, Fentanyl and Prescription Drug Misuse
In New Orleans ...
According to local surveys, heroin is considered the greatest drug threat to the Greater New Orleans area.2
However the use of fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is also on the rise. In 2017, 87 people died accidentally with fentanyl in their system, compared to 48 in 2016 and 13 in 2015, according to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office.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.
Unfortunately, the number of deaths from synthetic opioids - like fentanyl - continues to rise. Between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid deaths increased 9%.3
1 Heroin Overdose Data. Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/heroin.html
2 Greater New Orleans Situational Drug Report. Source: https://www.dea.gov/documents/2018/10/15/greater-new-orleans-situational-drug-report
Opioid misuse is a problem in New Orleans and across the country. Get a few quick facts about the drug problem below.
IN NEW ORLEANS:
- 78 percent of the fatal overdose deaths in 2016 were opioid-related 
- 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: Opiate Overdoses and Naloxone Administrations in New Orleans, DEA. View source here.
2 Source: University of Michigan, 2018 Monitoring the Future Study. View source here.
3 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
4 Source: Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. View source here.
5 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.
6 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.
7 Source: “Fentanyl: Illicitly-made fentanyl use is on the rise." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. View source here.
JEREMY TRAYLOR, 18
Jeremy was 80 days sober before deciding to try OxyContin one more time. Read more.
Need Someone to Talk to?
Are you or someone you care about affected by opioid misuse or addiction? You may want to consider contacting one of the 24 hour hotlines below.
You can contact this crisis line at (504) 365-9100, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) OR text "NAMI" to 741741. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. HelpLine staff and volunteers are prepared to answer your questions about mental health issues
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.
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.
Crime Stoppers Greater New Orleans - CALL 504-822-1111 or 877-903-STOP TEXT 274637
Access Health Louisiana (AHL) is the largest network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in the state.
Addiction Recovery Resources, Inc. offers a full continuum of care. The organization can meet the needs of alcohol or drug addiction for every stage of the disease.
Louisiana Adult & Teen Challenge exists to provide youth, adults, and families with an effective residential, biblically based solution to life-controlling problems.
Alateen, a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.
The American Medical Association encourages physicians to access education and training resources to help end Louisiana opioid epidemic.
Florida Parishes Human Services Authority is a community agency committed to providing recovery-based and person centered Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Services.
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans provides hope, help and loving care for the most vulnerable and needy in the eight civil parishes of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Get resources and information concerning the state's opioid addiction problem.
The Health Department's mission is to protect, promote and improve the health of all where we live, learn, work and play.
This health center is part of the Federally Qualified Community Health Center (FQHC) network. This center provides communities with comprehensive primary and preventive care, including medical, dental and behavioral health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages, regardless of ability to pay or health insurance status.
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.