CALL 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • This national substance misuse hotline is free, confidential, and available 24/7.
  • Need Help?

Prescription opioids (also known as prescription painkillers) are a category of commonly-prescribed narcotics. Prescription opioids are typically in pill form, but can also be patches or liquids, such as codeine cough syrup. When taken as directed by a medical professional, they’re relatively safe and can be beneficial. However, there is always a risk of addiction. And that risk increases greatly with duration of use and misuse.

Are You Misusing Prescription Painkillers or Other Drugs?

Common signs of overdose (Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect an overdose)
  • Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness
  • Slow, irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Slow, irregular breathing or no breathing
  • Vomiting or gurgling
  • Constricted pupils
  • Blue or purple lips and/or fingernails
Common signs of drug misuse
  • Unable to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home because of drug use.
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks, such as driving while on drugs.
  • Drug use is resulting in legal trouble such as stealing to support drug use.
  • Drug use is causing problems in relationships, such as arguments with family members and loss of friends.
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow or slow breathing
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Irritability
  • Abandonment of normal responsibilities
  • Decreased motivation
  • Depression
Common signs of drug addiction
  • A drug tolerance has been built up requiring more drugs in order to experience the same effects.
  • Drugs are taken to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • Activities once enjoyed have been stopped due to loss of interest
  • Drug use is continued despite interfering with work, home, or other activities
  • Life revolves around drug use.

Learn to recognize the potential signs of drug overdose and know the proper steps to take if you suspect someone is overdosing. This includes Naloxone, a Food and Drug Administration approved medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose while you wait for emergency medical help to arrive.

Get Help – Finding Treatment Resources and Other Services

Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step to getting better. Asking for help is the second step.

  • If you are in a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service provides free and confidential information in English and Spanish for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • For immediate and confidential help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call SAMHSA’s Toll-Free Treatment Referral Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Also, SAMHSA provides an online link that can help you find the closest drug treatment facility to you: Online Treatment Facility Locator
  • Find the nearest Narcotics Anonymous meetings
  • The White House launched a new website aimed at helping those addicted with finding treatment facilities near them.