Prescription Drugs

In Connecticut, residents are more likely to die from an unintentional drug overdose than a car accident. 1,359 people in Connecticut died last year from overdose. In the vast majority of these deaths, opioids were involved.

Opioids are a class of drugs including the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as Oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and others.

Prescription Drug Misuse in the United States

  • According to results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year.
  • More than one million misused prescription stimulants, 1.5 million misused tranquilizers, and 271,000 misused sedatives for the first time within the past year.
  • Misuse of prescription drugs is highest among young adults ages 18 to 25, with 14.4% reporting non-medical use in the past year.
  • In 2017, 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
  • Roughly 21 to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • About 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.

A map of Prescription Disposal Drop Boxes in Connecticut is available here to discard unused or expired medications safely, anonymously, and securely.

What Can You Do to Help Prevent an Overdose?

Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can quickly restore normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

If you are interested in a Naloxone training and free kit, please contact