Overdose Rescue



Opioids are powerful psychoactive chemicals that have the ability to effectively relieve serious pain by binding with key receptors in the brain. When used as prescribed, opioids may help relieve and control severe or chronic pain.

Because prescription opioids can create a sense of euphoria, some people misuse them to get high. If used too much, dependency and addiction can occur and the risk of overdose increases.

Commonly misused opioids include: Roxicodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone, (OxyContin), tramadol and codeine (cough medicine).


Fentanyl was developed as a strong prescription painkiller for patients with severe, long-term pain. It is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent and extremely dangerous to misuse. Improperly ingesting or touching even a tiny amount can cause overdose or death.


Heroin is a dangerous and illegal street opioid. People sometimes try it as a replacement for legal pain medication but it has no medical use. It is highly addictive and often deadly.


Naloxone is a safe and legal antidote to reverse an opioid overdose. It neutralizes the opioids (prescription pain meds, heroin or methadone), reverses fatal side effects and helps someone breathe again.

Watch a training video


It only takes a few minutes to learn how to save a life. Watch these short videos to learn:

  • what causes an opioid overdose
  • how to recognize an opioid overdose
  • what to do in case of overdose
  • how to give naloxone
"Administering Naloxone” equips public health agencies, community organizations, friends, family members and others with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent opioid-related deaths by using naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose. The 11 minute training video includes a six point checklist on how to recognize when a person is overdosing and demonstrates how to dispense naloxone and provide post-overdose care.
The video was produced by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Safe and Active Communities Branch as part of a comprehensive strategy to address opioid misuse and prevent overdose deaths. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2LEi26M
CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith has also issued a statewide standing order that allows for the distribution and administration of naloxone. Obtain more information and apply for the statewide standing order at http://bit.ly/2PPkdI3.
Click on Administering Naloxone to watch the training video.

 Adapted from Ventura County Behavioral Health / www.venturacountyresponds.org 

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