The South Suburban Council is a leader in Treatment and Recovery Support for those experiencing Opioid Addiction (Opioid Use Disorder {OUD}). We offer innovative and comprehensive evidence based treatment options including dedicated Recovery Coach’s. The Council strongly encourages you to fully utilize these tools to better understand OUD, better prepare for treatment and ultimately invest in a more successful recovery. Once you are provided a Recovery Coach you will have 24 hour access to their services and 24 hour access to our dedicated Help Line (773.343.3510).

833.2FINDHELP Illinois Helpline

This toolkit has proven to be effective in the identification and treatment of OUD. The goal of this toolkit is to support the screening for, recognition of and treatment of OUD.

What is Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)? Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids – National Institute on Drug Abuse

Opioids And Substance Abuse: What Can We Do?

SAMHSA Opioid Prevention Toolkit (PDF)

Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (Spanish)

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Heroin

JAMA Forum: Community-Based Prevention and Strategies for the Opioid Crisis

DEA – Prevention Document

What is Sublocade?


Teens and the Opioid Epidemic: Risks, Consequences, and Prevention

What are opioids?

Opioids are a type of medicine often used to help relieve pain. They work by lowering the number of pain signals your body sends to your brain. They also change how your brain responds to pain. Doctors most often prescribe opioids to relieve pain from:

  • toothaches and dental procedures
  • injuries
  • surgeries
  • chronic conditions such as cancer

Some prescription cough medicines also contain opioids.

Opioids usually are safe when you use them correctly. But people who do not follow their doctor’s instructions and those who misuse opioids can become addicted. Misusing opioids means that you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions for how to take the medicine. It can also mean that you take the drug illegally.

What is addiction?

Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and your behavior. At first, you have control over your choice to start using drugs. If you misuse a drug, its pleasurable effect eventually makes you want to keep using it. Over time, your brain actually changes in certain ways so that you develop a powerful urge to use the drug.

Opioid drugs include:

  • opium
  • codeine
  • fentanyl
  • heroin
  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • methadone
  • morphine
  • oxycodone
  • oxymorphone
  • paregoric
  • sufentanil
  • tramadol

Symptoms of opioid addiction

The first step toward recovery is recognizing that you have a problem with opioids. The signs and symptoms of substance abuse can be physical, behavioral, and psychological. One clear sign of addiction is not being able to stop using the substance. It is also not being able to stop yourself from using more than the recommended amount.

Other signs and symptoms of opioid abuse include:

  • poor coordination
  • drowsiness
  • shallow or slow breathing rate
  • nausea, vomiting
  • constipation
  • physical agitation
  • poor decision making
  • abandoning responsibilities
  • slurred speech
  • sleeping more or less than normal
  • mood swings
  • euphoria (feeling high)
  • irritability
  • depression
  • lowered motivation
  • anxiety attacks

Symptoms of opioid overdose

An overdose of opioids requires immediate emergency medical treatment. If you suspect someone has overdosed on opioids, call 9-1-1 immediately. In some states, a prescription nasal spray called naloxone (Narcan) is available to keep on hand in case of an opioid overdose. Talk to your doctor to see if you might need this medicine.

Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • unresponsive (can’t wake)
  • slow, erratic (irregular) breathing, or no breathing at all
  • slow, erratic pulse, or no pulse
  • vomiting
  • loss of consciousness (passing out)
  • constricted (small) pupils

What causes opioid addiction?

Opioid drugs alter your brain by creating artificial endorphins. Besides blocking pain, these endorphins make you feel good. Too much opioid use can cause your brain to rely on these artificial endorphins. Once your brain does this, it can even stop producing its own endorphins. The longer you use opioids, the more likely this is to happen. You also will need more opioids over time because of drug tolerance.

What is drug tolerance?

Drug tolerance is when your body, over time, gets used to the effects of a drug. As this happens, you may need to take a higher dose of the drug to get the same effect. When you take opioids over time, you need a higher does to get the same pain relief.

If you stop using an opioid for a period of time, your tolerance will begin to fade. If you need to begin taking it again, you most likely will not need your former higher dose. That can be too much for the body to take. If you stop taking a medication, and then resume, talk to your doctor about dosage.

What is drug dependence?

Drug dependence is when the way your body works changes because you have taken a drug for a long time. These changes cause you to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe, and may include:

  • sweating
  • nausea or vomiting
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • shaking
  • pain
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • fatigue

If you have been taking a prescription opioid for a long time, work with your doctor. Your doctor can help you avoid withdrawal symptoms by gradually lowering your dose over time until you no longer need the medicine.

What is the difference between drug tolerance, dependence, and addiction?

Drug tolerance and dependence are a normal part of taking any opioid drug for a long time. You can be tolerant to, or dependent on, a drug and not yet be addicted to it.

Addiction, however, is not normal. It is a disease. You are addicted to a drug when it seems that neither your body nor your mind can function without the drug. Addiction causes you to obsessively seek out the drug, even when the drug use causes behavior, health, or relationship problems.

How do I know if I’m addicted?

You might be addicted if you crave the drug or if you feel like you can’t control the urge to take the drug. You may also be addicted if you keep using the drug without your doctor’s consent, even if the drug is causing trouble for you. The trouble may be with your health, with money, with work or school, with the law, or with your relationships with family or friends. Your friends and family may be aware of your addiction problem before you are. They notice the changes in your behavior.

How is opioid addiction diagnosed?

Your doctor or a medical health professional can diagnose opioid addiction. Diagnosis will include a medical assessment. It also often includes testing for mental health disorders.

Can opioid addiction be prevented or avoided?

Many people are able to use opioids safely without becoming addicted to them. But their potential for addiction is high. This is especially true if you use them for long-term pain management.

In general, you are more likely to avoid addiction if you can use opioid drugs no longer than a week. Research shows that using them for more than a month can make you dependent on them.

Opioid addiction treatment

Treatment for opioid addiction is different for each person. The main goal of treatment is to help you stop using the drug. Treatment also can help you avoid using it again in the future.

When you stop using opioids, your body will react. You will have a number of symptoms that may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and anxiety. This reaction is called withdrawal.

Your doctor can prescribe certain medicines to help relieve your withdrawal symptoms when you stop using opioids. They also will help control your cravings. These medicines include methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction), buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Methadone and buprenorphine help reduce withdrawal symptoms by targeting the same centers in the brain that opioids target. Only they do not make you feel high. They help restore balance to your brain and allow it to heal. According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), you may safely take the medicines long term, even for a lifetime. You should not quit them without first telling your doctor.

Naltrexone is another medicine your doctor may prescribe. This medicine doesn’t help you stop taking opioids. It is for helping prevent you from relapsing. Relapsing means to start taking opioids again.  This medicine is different from methadone and buprenorphine because it does not help with cravings or withdrawal. Instead, according to NIH, it prevents you from feeling the high you would normally feel when you take opioids.

Medicine can help with your physical addition to opioids. But you may also need help with your mental or emotional addition to opioids. Behavioral treatments can help you learn how to manage depression. These treatments also help you avoid opioids, deal with cravings, and heal damaged relationships. Some behavioral treatments include individual counseling, group or family counseling, and cognitive therapy. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.

Living with opioid addiction

If you think you are addicted to opioids, know that there is help for you. The first step in breaking addiction is realizing that you control your own behavior.

The following steps will help you fight your addiction:

  1. Commit to quitting. Take control of your behavior and commit to fighting your addictions.
  2. Get help from your doctor. He or she can be your biggest ally, even if you’re trying to quit a drug he or she prescribed. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine that will help ease your cravings for the addictive drug. Talking with your doctor or a counselor about your problems and your drug use can be helpful, too.
  3. Get support. Certain organizations are dedicated to helping people who have addictions. They want you to succeed and will give you the tools and support you need to quit and move on with your life. Ask your family and friends for support, too.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • How can I prevent getting addicted to opioids?
  • Is the medicine I’m taking addictive?
  • How do I know if I’m addicted to an opioid?
  • What should I do if I think I’m addicted to an opioid?
  • How do I know if a friend of family member is addicted to an opioid?

Understanding the Epidemic

Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States.

  • From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
  • Around 68% of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid.
  • In 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 6 times higher than in 1999.
  • On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.1

The Three Waves of Opioid Overdose Deaths

3 waves of the rise in opioid overdose deaths

From 1999-2017, almost 400,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids.2

This rise in opioid overdose deaths can be outlined in three distinct waves.

  1. The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s 3, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999.
  2. The second wave began in 2010, with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin.
  3. The third wave began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids – particularly those involving illicitly-manufactured fentanyl (IMF). The IMF market continues to change, and IMF can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine. 2,4

Combating the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (that includes prescription opioids and heroin.)

CDC is committed to fighting the opioid overdose epidemic and supporting states and communities as they continue work to identify outbreaks, collect data, and respond to overdoses, and provide care to those in their communities. CDC’s Prevention for States and Data-Driven Prevention Initiative programmatic aims center around the enhancement of PDMPs within clinical and public health settings, insurer and community interventions, evaluation of state-level policies, and other innovative strategies that states can employ. CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program aims to support and build the capacity of states to monitor the epidemic by improving the timeliness and quality of surveillance data focusing on both fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose.

CDC’s work focuses on:

  • Building prevention efforts by equipping states with resources, improving data collection, and supporting the use of evidence-based prevention strategies.
  • Improving data quality and tracking trends to better understand and respond to the epidemic. Collecting and analyzing data on opioid-related overdoses to better identify areas that need assistance and to evaluate prevention efforts.
  • Supporting healthcare providers and health systems with data, tools, and guidance for evidence-based decision-making to improve opioid prescribing and patient safety.
  • Partnering with public safety officials, including law enforcement, to address the growing illicit opioid problem.
  • Encouraging consumers to make safe choices about opioids and raising awareness about prescription opioid misuse and overdose.

Collaboration is essential for success in prevention opioid overdose deaths. Medical personnel, emergency departments, first responders, public safety officials, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, community-based organizations, public health, and members of the community all bring awareness, resources, and expertise to address this complex and fast-moving epidemic. Together, we can better coordinate efforts to prevent opioid overdoses and deaths.


Combating the Opioid Crisis and Other Substance Misuse: Schools, Students, Families

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is joining other Federal agencies in combating the opioid crisis that is killing Americans at unprecedented rates and plaguing families and communities. While the causes of opioid misuse are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goals of prevention and recovery focus on reducing risk and promoting factors that increase resiliency. Schools play an important role in reaching these goals.

The Department is taking a two pronged approach to addressing the opioid crisis: 1) Helping to educate students, families and educators about the dangers of opioid misuse and about ways to prevent and overcome opioid addiction and; 2) Supporting State and local education agency efforts to prevent and reduce opioid misuse.

On September 30, 2019, the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Proclamation announcing October 2019 to be National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Click here to read the President’s proclamation.

What are opioids, how are they having an impact and what is the Federal government doing?

  • Opioids are natural or synthetic chemicals that reduce feelings of pain.
  • Opioids are a class of drugs that include pain relievers available legally by prescription such as oxycodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine and morphine, as well as heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
  • Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them or develop tolerance of physical dependence.
  • In 2016, more Americans died due to opioid overdoses than car crashes. From cities and suburbs to rural America, opioid addiction and overdose is “the crisis next door”.


  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an event lead by the Drug Enforcement Agency to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous way of disposing of prescription drugs.
  • Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about how the opioid crisis affects students and families, and the policies and practices that can help address the crisis in schools.
  • illustrates the magnitude of the opioid crisis and actions the Trump Administration is taking to address it.
  • Data on youth drug use is available at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Opioid page.
  • CDC’s Opioid Overdose Page provides comprehensive information about opioids and their risks, as well as information about how to protect against opioid misuse, addiction and overdose.

What is the role of schools?

  • School leaders, teachers and staff can create safe environments and positive cultures for students.
  • They can educate students, each other and families about the dangers of drug use and about how to prevent opioid misuse and addiction.
  • Many evidence-based prevention programs can be delivered in a school setting.
  • Schools can help to mitigate risk factors that can make students vulnerable to engaging in dangerous behavior.
  • They can also boost protective factors and increase student engagement.
  • Schools can be prepared if an opioid overdose occurs on school grounds.
  • Schools and school districts can support students in recovery and students whose family members are suffering from addiction.


  • The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy produced a school resource guide for teachers, administrators, and staff to help educate and protect students from substance abuse.
  • Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about how Institutions of Higher Education are providing support to students recovering from opioid, alcohol, stimulants, and other drug or substance abuse disorders, or know of someone who may be recovering, through collegiate recovery programs and similar initiatives.
  • Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about how the opioid crisis is impacting our schools and students, and review strategies that could support students impacted by the crisis.
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Campus Drug Prevention website provides information about drug abuse prevention programs on college campuses and in surrounding communities.
  • Operation Prevention educates students about the impacts of opioids and encourages conversations in the home and classroom.
  • Drug, Brains, and Behavior discusses why adolescence is a critical time for preventing drug addiction.
  • Get a free opioid overdose prevention toolkit.
  • Find information about recovery high schools that support performance and empower access to student recovery.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides an evidence-based practices resource center.

What should students know and do?

  • The social behavior of students affects the success of schools as learning environments.
  • Risk-related behaviors are a barrier to academic gains and healthy lifestyles.
  • Students should know about the dangers of opioid misuse and illicit drug use.
  • They should be supported in developing decision-making skills and in developing understanding about ways to resist pressure to experiment with and misuse drugs.
  • They should know when and where to seek help either for their own opioid use disorders or addiction issues or for dealing with issues arising from misuse, addiction and overdose by friends or family members.


  • Learn how drug use affects the brains of teens.
  • Students can get the facts about drugs.
  • Confidentially and anonymously find information on treatment facilities in the United States and U.S Territories for substance misuse, addiction or mental health support.
  • Share your story about how you overcame addiction, volunteered at a recovery center, or worked as a family to help a loved one through recovery.
  • Do you have questions about opioids, the national epidemic, or where to find a local treatment center near you? The Office of the National Drug Control Policy, the Ad Council and Truth Initiative have partnered together to help.

How can parents and guardians of students help?

  • Educated and empowered parents and guardians are the first line of defense in preventing opioid misuse and illicit drug use by students.
  • The Department of Education partnered with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration to release a new version of the popular publication, Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention. It provides an overview of opioid misuse as a student issue and profiles of youth who have died from overdoses and youth who are actively engaged in preventing drug misuse in their schools and communities. It also contains numerous resources of interest to parents, students and educators.


Does the Department have funding and other assistance available to help schools address the opioid crisis?

  • The Department has a long history of promoting substance misuse prevention in schools, through programs, products and targeted technical assistance.
  • The Department’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools administers grant programs and other technical assistance centers that can help State and local education agencies and schools address opioid misuse prevention, promote school safety and create supportive school climates.


  • The Office of Safe and Supportive Schools is committed to serving States and school communities by providing resources, direct support and technical assistance on topics that affect the well-being, health and safety of our nation’s young people.

View this webpage as a PDF.

About the Program

The DEA and Discovery Education have joined forces to combat a growing epidemic of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use nationwide. Operation Prevention’s mission is to educate students about the true impacts of opioids and kick-start lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom.

Since its launch, Operation Prevention has reached over 4M students nationwide. No local sponsorship or corporate funding is necessary for you to get started today.

DEA and Discovery Education are grateful to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance and Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention for their contributions to the development of Operation Prevention.



Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, a 2-fold increase in a decade.

The sharpest increase involved synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (similar compounds), with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 Heroin was involved in nearly 16,000 deaths and prescription painkillers were involved in nearly 15,000 deaths.

From 2002 to 2017, there was a 22-fold increase in the total number of deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (not including methadone) and more than a 7-fold increase in the number of deaths involving heroin. Emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses rose by 30 percent in the U.S. from July 2016 to Sept. 2017.

The opioid crisis was declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency on Oct. 27, 2017.


Opioids are natural or synthetic (made in laboratories to mimic the properties of natural opioids) chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on the nerve cells in the body and brain and reduce feelings of pain. They are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relivers, synthetic opioids and heroin. Prescription opioids are meant to be used to treat acute pain (such as recovering from injury or post-surgery), chronic pain, active-phase cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care. Many people rely on prescription opioids to help manage their conditions under the care of a physician.

Opioids reduce the perception of pain, but can also cause drowsiness, mental confusion, euphoria, nausea and constipation. At high doses they can depress respiration. Prescription pain relivers include oxycodone (OxyContin®) hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and others. Synthetic opioids include fentanyl, methadone, pethidine, tramadol and carfentanil.

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil, an extremely potent fentanyl analog, is estimated to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed to manage severe pain. Illegally manufactured fentanyl is available in counterfeit pills or mixed with heroin and/or cocaine.4 According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Fentanyl is the most prevalent and the most significant synthetic opioid threat to the United States.” (May 2018) Overdoses related to use of synthetic marijuana laced with fentanyl have also been reported recently.

Opioid Use Disorder Symptoms

Opioids produce high levels of positive reinforcement, increasing the odds that people will continue using them despite negative resulting consequences. Opioid use disorder is a chronic lifelong disorder, with serious potential consequences including disability, relapses, and death. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition describes opioid use disorder as a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to problems or distress, with at least two of the following occurring within a 12-month period:

  1. Taking larger amounts or taking drugs over a longer period than intended.
  2. Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
  3. Spending a great deal of time obtaining or using the opioid or recovering from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids
  5. Problems fulfilling obligations at work, school or home.
  6. Continued opioid use despite having recurring social or interpersonal problems.
  7. Giving up or reducing activities because of opioid use.
  8. Using opioids in physically hazardous situations.
  9. Continued opioid use despite ongoing physical or psychological problem likely to have been caused or worsened by opioids.
  10. Tolerance (i.e., need for increased amounts or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount)
  11. Experiencing withdrawal (opioid withdrawal syndrome) or taking opioids (or a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

While opioid use disorder is similar to other substance use disorders in many respects, it has several unique features. Opioids can lead to physical dependence within a short time, as little as 4-8 weeks.2 In chronic users, the abruptly stopping use of opioids leads to severe symptoms, including generalized pain, chills, cramps, diarrhea, dilated pupils, restlessness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and very intense cravings. Because these symptoms are severe it creates significant motivation to continue using opioids to prevent withdrawal.

As with other addictions, both genetic factors and environmental factors, such as ease of access, contribute to the risk of opioid use disorder. Access to prescription opioids and to heroin have contributed to the current opioid epidemic.2

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), an estimated 3 to 19 percent of people who take prescription pain medications develop an addiction to them.3 People misusing opioids may try to switch from prescription pain killers to heroin when it is more easily available. About 45 percent of people who use heroin started with an addiction to prescription opioids, according to the AMA.

More than half of people misusing opioid medications report 3

  • Obtaining them for free or stealing them from a friend or family member
  • Going to multiple doctors to get additional prescriptions
  • Filing prescriptions at different pharmacies so that no one will notice how many pills they get each month


Effective treatments are available, however, only about one in four people with opioid use disorder receive specialty treatment. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective treatment for individuals with an opioid use disorder. It involves use of medication along with counseling and behavioral therapies. Brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s mental illness as well as to their treatment. For this reason, medications might be prescribed to help modify one’s brain chemistry. Medications are also used to relieve cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms and block the euphoric effects of opioids.

Treatment typically involves cognitive behavioral approaches, such as encouraging motivation to change and education about treatment and relapse prevention. It often includes participation in self-help programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous. MAT has been shown to help people stay in treatment, and to reduce opioid use, opioid overdoses and risks associated with opioid use disorder.

Three FDA-approved medications are commonly used to treat opioid addiction:

  • Methadone – Prevents withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings in people addicted to opioids. It does not cause a euphoric feeling once patients become tolerant to its effects. It is available only in specially regulated clinics.
  • Buprenorphine – Blocks the effects of other opioids, reduces or eliminates withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings. Buprenorphine treatment (detoxification or maintenance) is provided by specially trained and qualified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants (having received a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration) in office-based settings.
  • Naltrexone – Blocks the effects of other opioids preventing the feeling of euphoria. It is available from office-based providers in pill form or monthly injection.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) emphasizes that these medications do not substitute one addiction for another. The dosage of medication used in treatment does not get a person high—it helps reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal. It helps restore balance to the brain circuits affected by addiction.

Different levels of treatment may be needed by different individual or at different times – outpatient counseling, intensive outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, or long-term therapeutic communities. Opioid use disorder often requires continuing care to be effective. Evidence-based care for opioid use disorder involves several components, including:

  • Personalized diagnosis and treatment planning tailored to the individual and family
  • Long-term management – Addiction is a chronic condition with the potential for both recovery and recurrence. Long-term outpatient care is important.
  • Access to FDA-approved medications
  • Effective behavioral interventions delivered by trained professionals
  • Coordinated care for addiction and other conditions
  • Recovery support services, such as mutual aid groups, peer support specialists, and community services

Prevention and Public Health

Preventing overdose

Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) is a potentially life-saving medication used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. It can reverse and block the effects of other opioids and return normal breathing to someone whose breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. It is available as a prefilled auto-injection device, as a nasal spray and as an injectable.

In April 2018, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., released a public health advisory to urge more Americans to carry naloxone. More information from NIDA on Naloxone can be found here.

Avoiding opioids

If you or a family member is seeking treatment for acute or chronic pain seeking treatment, the AMA recommends talking with your physician about pain medications or treatments that are not opioids to avoid bringing opioids into your home.

Get more information from the CDC on non-opioid treatments for chronic pain and download a guide for managing pain for people in recovery from mental illness or substance use from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.



National Institute on Drug Abuse

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drug Enforcement Administration



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WONDER and Overdose statistics
  2. Sharma, B, et al. Opioid Use Disorders. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2016 Jul; 25(3): 473–487.
  3. AMA Alliance. Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Know the Facts
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Synthetic Opioid Overdose Data.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2018. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids


SUD, OUD & Medication Assisted Treatment

Recovery Coach

Recovery Coach Brochure

U.S. Surgeon General – Spotlight on Opioids:

Opioid Abuse and Addiction:

Helpful Links

Contact Us

Narcan Training Video:

How To Get Narcan


What are the symptoms of opioid use disorder (OUD)?

Opiate Withdrawal – What It Is and How to Cope with It:

Opioid Risk Tool

CDC – Opioid Basics

Crisis Text Helpline

Mobile Applications ->

KnowBullying: Provides parents and caregivers with information and guidance on ways to prevent bullying and build resilience in children.

MATx (Medication-Assisted Treatment): Offers healthcare practitioners support with medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Disaster Response App: Provides responders with access to critical resources, including the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to identify substance use and mental health treatment facility locations.

Suicide Safe: Helps providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice, address suicide risk among their patients, and make referrals to treatment and community resources.

Talk. They Hear You: Helps parents and caregivers talk to kids (9- 15 years old) about the dangers of underage drinking.

Connections: A-CHESS Platform: An evidence-based mobile application that provides ongoing support and relapse prevention for people recovering from substance use disorders. Available through mobile app stores, but only accessible through participating specialty substance use disorder treatment providers.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Diary Card and Skills Coach: Provides users with self-help skills, reminders of therapy principles, and coaching tools for coping.

I Am Sober: Allows users to track their recovery process. It includes features such as a tracker and notifications for new milestones.

Decisions in Recovery: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
( Helps families make informed decisions about treatment for addiction to pain medication or other opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl.

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids
( Provides research, facts, and resources about the opioid epidemic and lists recommended actions to address it.

NIDA’s “Opioids: Facts for Teens” Booklet
( Provides information on opioids for teenagers and adolescents who want to know more.

Patient and Family Opiate Treatment Guide
( Offers facts about treatment related to opiates and provides resources for responding to an opioid overdose.

SAMHSA’s Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) page
( Offers resources for providers of MAT.

SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
( Helps communities and local governments develop policies and practices to prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. The toolkit addresses issues of interest to first responders, treatment and service providers, and those recovering from an opioid overdose.

SAMHSA’s Treatment Improvement Protocol 63
( Reviews the use of the three FDA-approved medications used to treat opioid use disorders (methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine) and other strategies and services needed to support people in recovery.

Other Substance Use Facing Addiction with NCADD
( Creates campaigns and conducts research to rebrand addiction and find solutions for recovery across the nation.

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
( Details substance use statistics and the impacts on American citizens and healthcare systems.

Life Ring
( Offers peer-to-peer support and personal strategies to fight addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Narcotics Anonymous
( Lists resources for those experiencing substance use disorders and helps individuals join local chapters.

( Provides family groups for those who have a loved one experiencing a substance use disorder.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Treatment and Support Resource Page
( Provides resources for those who are in need of treatment and support for alcohol-related substance use disorders.

National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs
( Includes a list of the warning signs of substance misuse as well as resources and information to help someone who might have a substance use disorder.

NIDA’s What to Do If Your Teen or Young Adult Has a Problem with Drugs
( Provides parents of teens/young adults with information on how to identify and handle possible substance misuse situations.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety
( Offers resources to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety and abstinence from alcohol and substance use disorders.

SMART Recovery®
( Offers a self empowering addiction recovery support group network with face-to-face and daily online meetings.

The South Suburban Council Central Intake: 708.647.3333

These services are funded in full or in part through a State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant (TIO81699) to the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR), from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (HHS/SAMHSA).

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