Opioid medications are prescribed to treat pain from real and often debilitating conditions. When opioids are used incorrectly or by someone they are not intended for it can have potential deadly effects. The National Center for Drug Abuse and Statistics states that opioids are a factor in 7 out of every 10 overdose deaths. Deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased 10% in the past year. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Nebraska’s drug overdose death rate has doubled in the last 15 years.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cautions “the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly.” The Poison Center partners with local organizations to help promote awareness and provide education as well as to answer questions at any time. The Poison Center nurses can answer questions about medications, overdoses, errors in dosing, as well as assist in drug identification and disposal. Call us at 1-800-222-1222.
There is an antidote for opioid overdose, and all 50 states have made naloxone available to anyone who is concerned about their own use of an opioid or for any other person who is using an opioid for any reason. Did you know you can go to any participating pharmacy in Nebraska and ask the pharmacist for naloxone? Any Nebraska resident can access this after completing a short assessment to ensure eligibility at participating pharmacies. If you go to a pharmacy that is not participating, you will need to discuss billing with the pharmacist.
If you or someone you know has been using opioids and you note any of the symptoms below, please call 9-1-1:
- Unresponsive or unconscious individuals
- Not breathing or slow/shallow breaths
- Extreme sleepiness with difficulty staying awake, seizures
In Nebraska you can call 2-1-1 to access free counseling, treatment programs and other information. Please see the additional resources below.
- Opioid and Opiate Addiction Hotline: 24/7 at 888-625-6416
- Coalition Rx: coalitionrx.org or call 402-871-5622
- US Drug Enforcement Administration: One Pill Can Kill (dea.gov)
- Nebraska Family helpline: 24/7 at 888-866-8660
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
- Nebraska MEDS Coalition For Drug Disposal website: https://www.nebraskameds.org
Currently Active: Current and future pharmacies offering naloxone at no charge are listed at the website below. More participating pharmacies are being added to the list everyday so be sure to check here before going to a pharmacy.