No community is immune to heroin or prescription opioid addiction. Heroin and substance abuse is a problem in rural, suburban and urban communities across the state. Public awareness and community involvement are key factors in addressing the heroin epidemic.
No one can stop the problem on their own, but when a community comes together to address the problem of opioid and heroin addiction, they can accomplish great things.
Let's come together to #CombatAddiction. It's going to take all of us. You're a friend, student, teacher, spouse, sibling, parent, athlete, coach, healthcare professional, police officer, crossing guard, dance instructor, retailer, street vendor, etc. the list is endless. We all have a role in #CombatingAddiction and getting educated is the first step. Addiction can happen to anyone, any family and at any time. It can be intimidating and overwhelming to identify a substance use disorder (SUD) and even harder to admit when there is a problem. Learning to recognize the signs of addiction is critical. Educate and empower yourself with tools and resources about addiction so that you can help someone in need. You are not alone on this journey. There are a variety of people, organizations and various levels of care available, often nearby, to assist you. The NYS Combat Addiction webpage provides information, help and support resources.
- Contact your local OASAS prevention provider.
- Contact your local educator and health care professional.
- Important Communication: Learn about the Kitchen Table Toolkit
The Kitchen Table Toolkit was developed to assist parents, teachers, counselors and the community with guidance on how to initiate conversations about heroin and opioid abuse. The information in the toolkit may also be applicable for alcohol and other drugs. Videos and guidance documents were developed to assist with a community forum or a personal conversation.
- Talk to your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
- Talk to your school officials and teachers about how you can support their efforts.
- Promote medication drop box sites and any special events to dispose of unused and expired medications properly. Find a drop box by your location or county.
- Talk to your healthcare provider to understand the risks of controlled substance prescription medications is important to know. This fact sheet will highlight the facts, risks, warning signs, how to access help, and the proper disposal of controlled substance medications.
- Consider taking an opioid overdose prevention training and receive a free responder kit - naloxone.
- Learn about the role of non-EMS Fire Departments in addressing opioid overdoses.
- Call the OASAS HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 to find help.
Providing information and disseminating educational materials to the greater community regarding drug and alcohol abuse is an essential deterrent to substance abuse. Although Information alone may not be enough to prevent substance abuse or change behavior, when combined with proper enforcement and public awareness it can create healthier communities.
- Combat Heroin Poster
- Facts on Heroin and Prescription Opioids
- Important Information for Parents
- Fact Sheet for Students
- Medicine Cabinet Safety
- Medicine Cabinet Inventory
- Prescription Safety
If your community is interested in re-airing a Public Service Announcement (PSA), using a video at a town meeting, or posting a billboard please contact us. To order copies of select materials, complete this order form.
As a health care professional treating someone who is addicted to or abusing heroin or prescription opioids, it is criyticle to know what to look for and where to get help. By knowing the common indicators of someone suffering from addiction, intervention is possible and lives can be saved.
Symptoms of Abuse:
- Weight loss
- Track marks
- Loss or increase in appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaky hands, feet or head, large pupils)
- Small pupils
- Decreased respiratory rate
- Non responsive state and drowsiness
Referral to Treatment
- Screen for a problem by using the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) tool that helps identify individuals with a problem.
- Make a referral to treatment services on the OASAS website.
- Find information for medical and health care professionals on the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) website.
- Read the heroin health professional and educational leader letter.
- Learn about addiction medicine on the OASAS homepage
- Call the Hopeline 1-877-8HOPENY (1-877-846-7369).
There are numerous state and federal websites listed below that offer detailed information regarding heroin and opioid addiction. The information and tools on these sites can help you and your community better understand heroin and opioid abuse and misuse.
- Information for First Responders
- Heroin and Opioid Overdose Prevention Training
- Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs
- Opioid Overdose Prevention Information
- National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- NIDA for Teens
- NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS)
- NYS Department of Health (DOH)
- NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
- Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)