With You STL
Social distancing, isolation and anxiety add stress during these unprecedented times. Right now, you or someone you know may be lonely and want to turn to drugs. But you’re not alone, St. Louis. The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with so many others, are here with help. To help you or someone you know who is struggling, we’ve gathered prevention, education, treatment and recovery resources all in one place. We may be apart for now, but we will always be in this fight together.
We are WITH YOU St. Louis.
Substance Use Disorder and COVID-19
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks a person’s lungs and can be especially dangerous for those with underlying conditions, including people living with substance use disorder. Serious respiratory complications can arise in someone who smokes tobacco, marijuana or who vapes and contracts COVID-19. People with substance use disorder are also vulnerable due to the drugs’ effects on respiratory and pulmonary health. We understand this is an uncertain and vulnerable time for people, which is why we designed a website to provide resources throughout the St. Louis metro area to help you and your loved ones stay healthy and be well. To learn more about COVID-19 click here.
Anyone can be affected by addiction. Anyone can get help for themselves or a loved one. Anyone can save a life with naloxone.
The Anyone Can campaign aims to spread awareness that opioid addiction affects people in all parts of our community, but we can all reach out for help and take steps to prevent overdose. Whether you are struggling with your own opioid use, have friends or family experiencing addiction, or simply want to learn more about the opioid addiction and overdose crisis, you can find resources at AnyoneCanSTL.org.
More and more families are staying home, which can lead to spending more time with one another. This can also result in picking up on behaviors you may not have noticed in the past. Hidden in Plain View is an interactive experience in which parents are encouraged to tour a bedroom to discover seemingly innocent items commonly used to take part in risky behaviors. This new, virtual bedroom is presented by Addiction is Real® and was created to help parents spot the signs of teen substance use. Over 70 suspicious items are hidden in plain view. Click here to see how many you would recognize.
Talking to kids about substance misuse is arguably the second hardest talk to have, after the birds and the bees. TalkAboutItMO.com provides free, age-appropriate tools to help families start these difficult, yet important, conversations. Preventing future substance use is one of the ways we can save lives while reducing demand and impacting the supply of illicit drugs in our communities.
Substance use disorder does not discriminate; it does not know age, race, economic status or geographical boundaries. Click here if you have questions about substance use, the dangers associated with prescription medication misuse, or if you just need someone to talk to about what to do next.
The state of Missouri has several grant-funded projects aimed at expanding prevention efforts, treatment and recovery support, and harm reduction resources for people with opioid use disorder (OUD). Click here if you are looking for access to naloxone, treatment resources, or if you would like to become a Certified Peer Specialist.
Substance Use Disorder is a complex brain disorder with behavioral components; not a moral failing. The stigma associated with addiction can prevent some people from getting the help they really need. Alleviating stigma is not easy, but it is easy to treat people with dignity and compassion. Click here for other ways to help reduce the stigma around substance misuse.
A majority of people who misuse prescription medications get those meds from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA encourages families to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications at least twice a year by offering National Prescription Take Back Day in the spring and fall. Many local police departments also have permanent drop box locations. With stay-at-home orders in place and social distancing recommendations we suggest you secure your medications to prevent misuse.
The mental health challenges for youth and families in these times not only increases risks for drug misuse but with guns available in homes and not stored securely, there are increased risks for suicides, homicides, domestic violence, and unintentional shootings. Preventing gun violence is even more of a concern during these difficult times when millions of kids are staying home in households with unlocked and loaded firearms.
DEA has 239 Domestic Offices in 23 Divisions throughout the U.S., and 91 Foreign Offices in 68 countries. For the latest updates and information from DEA HQ follow us on Twitter @DEAHQ, on Facebook, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.
Prevention & Education
Drug misuse at an early age can alter brain development and have serious, life-long consequences. Studies show that research-based prevention and education programs can significantly reduce the risk of substance abuse. This section provides local, state and national resources about the current opioid crisis and ways to prevent substance misuse.
- Community Strong https://communitystrongscc.org/resource-guide
- Community Rocks Utilized to Spread Hope (CRUSHscc) https://www.facebook.com
- Prevent + Ed https://prevented.org/
- Anyone Can STL www.anyonecanstl.com
- MO-HOPE Project www.mohopeproject.org
- HEAL: Stop Heroin www.healstopheroin.org, www.facebook.com/healstopheroin
- The Awaken Project https://www.awakenproject.org/
- Addiction is Real https://www.addictionisreal.org/
- Jordan’s Place Teen Hangout https://www.facebook.com/jordansplaceteenhangout
- Austin’s Army https://www.austinsarmy97.org/
- Talk About It www.TalkAboutitMO.com
- Move Your Way https://health.gov/moveyourway
- St. Louis County Coronavirus Information Center www.Stlcorona.com
- Illinois Department of Public Health www.dph.illinois.gov
- Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services www.health.mo.gov
- Preferred Family Health http://www.pfh.org/pfhonline
- Chestnut Health Systems https://www.chestnut.org/
- Partnership for Drug-Free Communities http://www.partnershipdrugfree.org/
- Operation Prevention www.OperationPrevention.com
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
- National Institute on Drug Abuse www.drugabuse.gov
Treatment & Recovery
Every person is different, every situation is different, and every course of treatment is different. Below are local and state resources to help you or a loved one on the road to recovery.
- Treatment, Recovery Support and Harm Reduction Services in Missouri www.noMOdeaths.org
- Preferred Family Healthcare www.pfh.org
- Chestnut Health Systems https://www.chestnut.org/
- CenterPointe Hospital www.centerpointehospital.com
- St. Louis Area of Narcotics Anonymous stlna.org
- Gateway to Better Health https://stlgbh.com/programoverview
- The ARCHway Institute https://thearchwayinstitute.org/
- Assisted Recovery Centers of America https://arcamidwest.com/
- Behavioral Health Response http://bhrstl.org/
- Compass Health Network https://compasshealthnetwork.org/
- Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center http://cbhc1.org/
- The Aviary Recovery Center https://aviaryrecoverycenter.com/
- Footprints to Recovery https://footprintstorecovery.com/
- National Alliance on Mental Illness https://www.namistl.org/
- Recovery Lighthouse https://www.recoverylighthouse.org/
- Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation http://www.jfcac.org/
- ARCH House http://www.archhouse.org/
- SSM Health https://www.ssmhealth.com/mental-health/treatment-and-recovery
- Christian Hospital https://www.christianhospital.org/Medical-Services/Mental-Health
- Alton Memorial Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine https://www.altonmemorialhospital.org/Medical-Services/Medical-Stabilization
- Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center https://sanalakebwc.com/
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones https://www.palgroup.org/
- Hilljack House https://www.hilljackhouse.org/
- Touchette Regional Hospital https://touchette.org/services/behavioral-health-and-wellness
- Valley Hope https://valleyhope.org/locations/missouri/boonville-treatment-center/
- MO Coalition of Recovery Support Providers/MO Accredited Recovery Residences https://mcrsp.org/get-help/
- Places for People https://www.placesforpeople.org/ or call 314-615-2119 ext.356
- The Illinois Warm Line: 866-359-7953
- Hours Monday - Saturday, 8am - 8pm
- Warm Hand Off: 618-463-7780
- Missouri Crisis Line
- Or text HAND to 839863
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/
- Missouri Department of Mental Health https://dmh.mo.gov
- Illinois Department of Human Services http://www.dhs.state.il.us/
Naloxone is a synthetic drug that blocks the opiate receptors in the brain and can reverse the signs of an overdose. Several organizations in the St. Louis metro area distribute Naloxone for free.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Communities www.Partnershipdrugfree.org
- Anyone Can STL www.anyonecanstl.com
- MO-HOPE Project www.MOHOPEproject.org
- Saint Louis County Department of Public Health – Naloxone
- Monday - Friday, 8am - 4:30pm
- North Central Community Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Rd St. Louis, MO 63121
- South County Health Center
4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63127
- John C. Murphy Health Center
6121 North Hanley Rd., St. Louis, MO 63134
- Free NARCAN is available to anyone in Madison or St. Clair Counties. Personal information will be kept confidential. Email SR-NARCAN@chestnut.org or call 618-975-6614.
- Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery - 844-Rebel Up (844-732-3587)
- Prevent + Ed - Email email@example.com or call 314-962-3456
- St. Louis Empowerment Center - Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-652-6100
- Chestnut Health Systems https://www.chestnut.org/
- Sana Lake Recovery Center https://sanalake.com/
Coalitions – Get Involved
Anyone and everyone can make a difference. The below groups are constantly working with business leaders, educators, law enforcement, faith-based organizations and government to make their communities healthy and safe places to live.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Communities www.Partnershipdrugfree.org
- Alliance for Healthy Communities www.ahc-stl.org
- Community Rocks Utilized to Spread Hope (C.R.U.S.H.) www.facebook.com/groups/CRUSHscc/?source_id=392485127749805
- CRUSH – St. Charles County https://www.sccmo.org/1541/CRUSH
- CRUSH – Franklin County www.facebook.com/franklincountycrush
- CRUSH – St. Louis www.facebook.com/StLouisCRUSH
- Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition www.jeffcodpc.org
- Step Up of St. Louis www.stepupstl.org
- The Southern Illinois Substance Abuse Alliance https://www.facebook.com/ourSISAA/
Grief is overwhelming, but you don’t need to go through it alone. Support groups are available to help you get through these difficult times.
- Baue www.Baue.com/grief-support/
- Virtual Grief Groups offered Wednesdays at 6:00pm and Fridays at 10:00am.
- SOUL - Email: SurvivingOUL@gmail.com. Call or text: 314-282-7453
- SOUL is a group of individuals brought together by the tragic loss of a loved one to addiction, overdose, drug or alcohol abuse. Every Sunday night we meet to share our stories, strength, and hope to support one another as we move forward in our unique grief.
You or someone you know may be in need of services outside of substance use prevention, education, treatment and recovery information. Below is a list of groups in our community who provide resources for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education and transportation.
- Catholic Charities of St. Louis https://www.ccstl.org/
- Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois https://catholiccharitiessil.org/ccsil
- Community Interfaith Food Pantry https://www.feedbelleville.org/
- O.A.S.I.S. https://oasisfoodpantry.com/
- Operation Food Search https://www.operationfoodsearch.org/emergency-response-2020/
- Saint Louis Area Foodbank http://stlfoodbank.org/programs-services/find-food/
- Salvation Army http://www.stlsalvationarmy.org/
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul Belleville https://svdpsouthil.org/
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon http://www.svdpglened.org/
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul St. Louis https://svdpstlouis.org/
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis https://www.ulstl.com/
- United Way of Greater St. Louis https://helpingpeople.org/united-way-2-1-1/
- Catholic Urban Community Resource Guide https://catholicurbanprograms.org/need-help/
- Franklin County Resources https://foundations4franklincounty.org/
Federal Government Agencies
This site discusses the role of schools, students, parents and guardians, and the Department of Education in combating the nationwide opioid epidemic.
The main mission of the DEA is to dismantle the major drug trafficking organizations. It is also committed to reducing the demand for drugs through prevention and education activities. DEA’s Office of Demand Reduction works with Special Agents across the United States to provide drug prevention information to communities on the dangers of using illicit drugs and drug trends.
The National Guard’s Counterdrug Program’s mission is to use the National Guard’s resources to help create the best opportunity for America’s youth to make the decision to be drug-free. They work with local law enforcement, education and community based organizations to reduce the chances of exposure of illegal drugs to our nation’s children.
This division has driving resources, including information on investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases involving impaired driving. The office uses a three-pronged strategy: high visibility law enforcement with supporting communication campaigns; enhanced prosecution and adjudication; and medical screening and brief intervention for alcohol abuse problems.
NIAAA provides leadership in the national effort to reduce alcohol-related problems
NIDA conducts research and disseminates the results of research programs about the effects of drug on the body and brain.
ONDCP reports directly to the President and is responsible for overseeing the substance abuse budgets of all the federal agencies and develops the President’s National Drug Control Strategy each year. ONDCP administers the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and the Drug Free Communities Support Program.
SAMHSA is responsible for overseeing and administering mental health, drug prevention and drug treatment programs around the nation. The agency is made up of 3 centers: The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP); Center for Mental Health (CMH) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).
Free publications from SAMHSA can be downloaded at http://Store.samhsa.gov
The Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools provides financial assistance for drug and violence prevention programs that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.
For information on specific funding for programs www2.ed.gov/programs/landing.jhtml
This is a substance abuse prevention and education agency that develops programs and materials based on the most current scientific research on drug use and its impact on society.
The AWARxE Prescription Drug Safety Program, supported by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) Foundation, is an information source providing authoritative resources about medication safety, prescription drug abuse, medication disposal, and safely buying medications on the Internet. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is the impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health. NABP aims to ensure the public’s health and safety.
CESAR’s mission is to inform policymakers, practitioners, and the general public about substance abuse, its nature and extent, its prevention and treatment, and its relation to other problems.
CADCA is an organization whose purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community anti-drug coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy, and drug free communities.
CADCA’s Online Rx Abuse Prevention Toolkit contains facts, strategies and tools to prevent and reduce teen Rx medicine abuse in your community. This newly revised toolkit is based on CADCA’s Seven Strategies for Effective Community Change. Incorporating these strategies will help you formulate, modify and implement your prevention and intervention strategies.
This organization is a drug prevention and policy organization committed to development, promotion and sustaining global strategies, policies and laws to reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug related injury and death.
This is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment website dedicated to providing the best resources for fighting substance abuse.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has a resource center for the Elks National Drug Awareness Program, the largest volunteer drug awareness program in the United States.
The mission is to eliminate the adverse impact of alcohol and drug use on children and families.
NDCP is the national membership organization for public, Drug Court, DWI Court and Mental Health Court professionals, including justice system, alcohol and drug treatment, and mental health treatment professionals.
The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators is a non-profit membership organization that works to develop and implement solutions to the problem of prescription drug diversion. NADDI advocates for the responsible use of prescription drugs by people who need them, and at the same time, works with law enforcement and state regulatory agents to pursue those involved in related criminal activity.
The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) has launched a program designed to significantly reduce the prescription drugs in American homes that are either no longer needed or outdated. Therefore, NADDI has developed this web page to provide the locations of law enforcement sites that are accepting prescription drugs throughout the United States.
This association Supports the development of effective prevention and treatment programs and provides assistance to state alcohol and treatment agencies and state prevention agencies.
As a private nonprofit organization the mission is to help families and their communities keep safe from crime. They sponsor a public education campaign involving 1600 crime prevention professionals.
NIPC serves as an inhalant referral and information clearinghouse, stimulates media coverage about inhalant issues, develops materials, and provides training and technical assistance
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids formerly known as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and helping families impacted by addiction.
Also, PDF has trained professionals to available via phone and online chat to help parents who think their loved one is struggling with addiction. Learn more.
An American Indian non-profit charitable organization that offers sobriety, recovery addictions prevention, and wellness/wellbriety resources to the Native American community nationwide, as well as to non-Native people.
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of America is to enable all young people; especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
D.A.R.E.’s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug and violence free lives.
SADD is a youth-based, peer-to-peer organization that promotes youth empowerment and uses peer influence to spread the message of positive decision-making. The SADD organization is comprised of thousands of Chapters that embrace a "no use" policy and help educate their peers about potentially destructive decisions regarding underage drinking, impaired driving, other drug use, bullying, and suicide.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19 face unique challenges during this time. This page provides resources specific to healthcare workers throughout the St. Louis Metro Region.
- DEA Diversion https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/coronavirus.html
- CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html
- Illinois Department of Health http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/health-care-providers
- Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/
- Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts https://pr.mo.gov/healingarts-covid-19.asp
Opioid addiction has reached crisis levels in communities across the nation.
An estimated 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription opioids or illegal opioids in 2018. About two thirds of deadly drug overdoses in 2016 were due to opioids.
The epidemic is also hitting young people hard. In 2017, about 75 percent of drug overdoses among 15-24 year olds were related to opioids.
Prevention works when you start early. Stop Youth Opioid Abuse is a multi-channel effort from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative that focuses on preventing and reducing the misuse of opioids among youth and young adults.
The campaign also hosts a website, opioids.thetruth.com, which also includes information about opioids, the epidemic, and evidence-based drug treatment. Get more information about opioids and opioid addiction below.
What are opioids? How can you make sure you don’t get addicted? Get answers to these questions and more.
For Parents and Educators
With your teen, watch the videos on opioids.thetruth.com (or click on the stories below) and start a conversation about opioid abuse using the questions in this guide.
Opioid painkillers can be powerful and dangerously addictive. So, if you receive a prescription, it's very important to thoroughly discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor, follow his or her instructions closely, and review the label on the prescription bottle.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released important guidance for patients who've received opioid prescriptions. Go to their site to learn about the risks, what you should expect, ways you can prevent misuse, and alternative treatment options and more.
Watch: Real Life Stories About Prescription Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction has reached a crisis level in communities across the nation.
Watch a few of their stories below, and see more on CDC's RX Awareness campaign website.
Brenda shares her experiences with addiction to prescription opioids and the toll pain medication took on her life. Watch.
Teresa lost her brother RJ at age 32 to a prescription opioid overdose. He convinced people to “believe he knew exactly what he was taking.” Watch.
Most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family, friends, and acquaintances. You can make a difference by keeping track of the medicine you have, by rethinking where and how you keep your medications in your home, and by safely disposing of any unused medications.
Keep track of your legally prescribed controlled substances – that is, count your pills so you always know how much you should have and so you know when to take action if any go missing. With controlled substances, sharing is NOT caring. You could be putting your loved ones at risk, and unintentionally contribute to drug misuse, drug addiction, or a fatal drug overdose.
Everyone knows to keep medicine “out of the reach of children” but once your children become teens, there’s a good chance they can “reach” all medicines in your home and they know exactly where you keep what. Many people keep their medicine in easy to reach, easy to access cupboards, medicine cabinets, drawers, etc. So put your medicine somewhere that only you can easily find and access. Lock it up if you can. This will keep your medicine from unintentionally ending up in the wrong hands and just may save someone’s life!
Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Meds
Participate in National Take Back Day – The DEA hosts a national Take Back Day twice a year. Check out this website for more information.
Safe Disposal at Home – Check out the resources below for information on how to safely dispose of your medication.
- DEA brochure: The Drug Enforcement Administration provides guidance on the right way to dispose of unused medicine in this PDF.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA): This webpage lists options and instructions you can refer to when disposing of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Permanent Drop Boxes Near You – You can search for permanent drop boxes near you at the sites below (be sure to call the location before trying to drop off your medication in case they have discontinued service).
Get a few quick facts about the opioid misuse problem nationwide below.
- The vast majority of teens do not use heroin. In a 2017 national survey, only 0.4% of 12th graders used heroin in the past year.
- 96.4% of 12th graders disapprove of taking heroin occasionally.
- In 2018, over 526,000 people (12 or older) reported having a heroin use disorder.
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 185 people die as a result of a drug overdose.
- In 2018, an estimated 2.9 million people (aged 12 or older) reported past month misuse of opioid 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.
- The rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (which includes fentanyl) jumped 10% from 2017 to 2018. 
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.
2Source: 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, 1999–2018. View source here.
4Source: 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.
Intentional or accidental overdoses can occur when you or someone you know takes too much of a drug — even if it's the first time taking the drug, and whether the drug is illicit, prescription, or over the counter. And if an overdose happens to your friend, you have to think about your responsibilities.
What Should You Do in the Case of a Drug Overdose?
If you suspect a friend has overdosed, getting medical attention can save his or her life! Call 911, give accurate details about what happened, and make sure you provide first responders or emergency medical personnel with as much information as possible.
- What drug(s) did your friend take?
- How long ago were they taken?
- How much was taken?
- Who else should be contacted immediately?
Be honest with the medical professionals who ask questions about your friend. The medical staff must know as much as they can to treat your friend properly.
Still feel a little iffy about calling 911? Learn more about the Good Samaritan 911 law from this pocket guide from the New Mexico Department of Health.
For advice at your fingertips, print out this "pocket" guide called "Making an Overdose Response Plan," on the New Mexico Department of Health website.
Overdose symptoms can vary by the drug. In general, for many prescription opioids, they could include:
- Cold and sweaty skin
- Extreme sleepiness
- Trouble breathing
Many people die from pain medicine overdoses. In fact, more people overdose from pain medicines every year than from heroin and cocaine combined.
For heroin overdoses, symptoms could include:
- Slow and shallow breathing
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Clammy skin
- Possible death
In addition, because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at a high risk of overdose or death.
And for the synthetic opioid fentanyl, the overdose symptoms could include:
- Changes in pupillary size
- Cold and clammy skin
- Respiratory failure leading to death
Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 24–48 hours after the last dose of heroin and subside after about a week. However, some people have shown persistent withdrawal signs for many months.
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”)
- Inability to sleep
- Involuntary leg movements
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold flashes with chills
- Inability to sleep
- Kicking movements
- Strong craving for the drug
Taking just 1 large dose of a prescription drug opioid could cause serious breathing problems that lead to death.
With regular heroin use, tolerance to the drug develops. Once this happens, the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity. As higher doses of the drug are used over time, physical dependence and addiction to the drug develop.
Fentanyl is abused in the same way as heroin, but it is much more potent. Users are often attracted to fentanyl’s strong, euphoric high. The addiction is very strong. Many users constantly seek out the drug to avoid withdrawal.
Learn more about the effects of the drugs below.
- Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach)
- Inability to sleep
- Breathing problems
- Respiratory depression
- Constricted pupils
- A warm flushing of the skin
- Dry mouth
- Heavy extremities
- Urinary retention
- Pupillary constriction
- Respiratory depression
Source: Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse, 2017 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide. Accessed June 28, 2017. View here.
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.
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 In 2018, there were over 550,000 naloxone prescriptions dispensed nationwide.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.
1Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
2Source: Vital Signs: Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing — United States, 2012–2018, (CDC).
3Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
If you're looking for treatment specific to opioid addiction, check out this Opioid Treatment Program Directory by SAMHSA.
Head over to FindTreatment.gov to search for general drug treatment facilities in your area. On this site, you can find facilities that offer various payment options (including free and no-cost care), youth treatment facilities, special programs for Veterans, plus more.
Otherwise, enter your zipcode in the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Locator above the footer on this page to find substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.
The use of medication along with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorder and prevent opioid overdose is referred to as medication-assisted treatment (or MAT).
MAT brings a “whole-patient” approach to treatment, and research has shown that it can be effective. This approach has been shown to:
- Improve patient survival
- Increase retention in treatment
- Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
Medication FDA approved for use during MAT include:
Methadone – this prescription (offered in pill, liquid and wafer forms and usually taken once a day). According to SAMHSA it changes “how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It lessens the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs..”
Buprenorphine – as an opioid partial agonist, this drug produces that same euphoric effects as opioids but is weaker than heroin and methadone. “Buprenorphine’s opioid effects increase with each dose until at moderate doses they level off, even with further dose increases. This “ceiling effect” lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects.”
Naltrexone – this drug works differently than methadone and buprenorphine because it blocks the euphoric effects of opioids and reduces cravings. If a person relapses, naltrexone stops him or her from getting high.
Learn more about MAT on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.
How Do Medications Treat Opioid Addiction (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Social Distancing may be lonely, but you are not alone.
You are enough. You matter. You are not alone.
Everyone deals with stress and anxiety differently. Fear and uncertainty during this pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adolescents and adults. If you are feeling overwhelmed and feel as though you may harm yourself or others
Text: HAND to 839863 in Missouri
Text: TALK to 552020 in Illinois
Call: 1-800-273-TALK (8225)
Surviving Domestic Violence
Intimate Partner Violence has a tendency to increase during natural disasters and crises. Additional stresses including sheltering-in-place, economic anxiety, joblessness, lack of resources and substance misuse can all be factors as to why the home can become more dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic. You are not alone. Help is available for anyone being affected by physical or emotional abuse.
TEXT: LOVEIS to 866-331-9474
Fighting Hunger Throughout our Community
Millions of meals were distributed to families in Missouri and Illinois last year. If you are in need of food assistance you can find your pantry here.
DEA. 13 October, 2021. With You STL. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/with-you-stl on 29 February, 2024
DEA. "With You STL."Drug Enforcement Agency, 13 October, 2021, https://www.dea.gov/with-you-stl Accessed 29 February, 2024.
DEA. . Drug Enforcement Agency on DEA website. https://www.dea.gov/with-you-stl. 13 October, 2021. Accessed 29 February, 2024.