Opioid Education and Prevention

What are opioids?

  • Opioids are a type of drug used to reduce pain 
  • Opioids include:
    • Medications that are derived from opioids such as codeine and morphine 
    • Synthetic medications such as fentanyl, suboxone, oxycodone, and methadone
    • Heroin, an illicit (illegally-made) opioid synthesized from morphine

What is the crisis?

  • Opioid abuse is a worldwide issue. The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.
    • In 2016 there were more than 42,000 deaths related to opioids and 40% of those involved a prescription opioid
    • In 2016, overdose deaths were the number one reason for death in ages 51 and younger in the U.S., overtaking motor vehicle accidents.
      • To put this another way, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. This is quadrupled from 1999 and continues to rise. 
  • Almost 18 out of every 100 Americans have misused prescription medications (opioids) or used opioids in an illicit form. 
  • This is a community and public health issue that we all have the opportunity to impact. 

What is El Paso County Public Health doing about the crisis?

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