Opioids are a class of drugs that impact the central nervous system and alter sensations, such as the ability to feel pain. Examples include the illegal drug heroin, as well as several prescription pain relievers. The use of opioids without a medical prescription is illegal and carries significant health risks. These risks can be explored through the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
If prescribed an opioid, check out our page on Tips for Safeguarding Medications.
Naloxone is a medication that can be used to briefly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by working as an opioid antagonist. A person who has experienced an overdose must still be seen for immediate medical attention after naloxone is administered. Signs of an overdose may include:
- Very small pupils
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Inability to speak
- Faint heartbeat
- Cool, clammy skin
- Discoloration of the lips or fingernails
Naloxone can be administered as an injection or nasal spray. NarcanⓇ is one common brand of naloxone nasal spray, and it is available on campus, at the pharmacy, or at community agencies. To request more information about NarcanⓇ, please contact Health and Wellness Education or visit go/Narcan.
Before engaging in substance use of any kind, consider the following:
- Medical conditions that carry elevated risk
- Medications that may cause dangerous interactions
- The safety of the environment (e.g. calm, familiar setting)
- Communication with trusted friends and/or family members
- Emergency plans in the event of an incident
Click below for more information on harm reduction.
Resources & Support
Note: this list is not a full list of resources available.
- Make an appointment. Talk to a health educator on campus by emailing Health and Wellness Education or visiting our Health Coaching page.
- Visit community resources. The Turning Point Center of Addison County is conveniently located within Middlebury. VT Helplink is a state-level alcohol and drug support center.
- Contact a national resource center. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a National Helpline (1-800-662-4357).
In Case of Emergency
Call 911 for any medical, fire, police, or life-threatening emergency.
For other emergencies call Public Safety at 801-443-5911.