Safety Advice for Patients & Family Members
WIC’s role in preventing substance abuse is to provide participants with education, referrals, and coordination of services. Among the intended effects of WIC’s substance abuse prevention and referral activities is to increase participants’ access to information about the dangers of substance use.
The growing opioid epidemic has contributed significantly to overdose deaths among those who use or misuse prescription and illicit opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, which are commonly prescribed to treat pain, as well as illegal drugs, such as heroin. A variety of negative effects can occur after a person takes opioids, such as nausea and vomiting, severe allergic reactions, and overdose, during which breathing and heartbeat slow or even stop.
SAMHSA's Opioid Overdose Publications and Digital Products page includes a number of useful resources for patients, families and communities to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths, such as:
- The various factors that can cause an opioid overdose
- Information on how to prevent an overdose
- What families can do if they suspect an overdose
- Resources for overdose survivors and their families