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Opioid misuse and overdose are important public health issues in Ontario and across Canada. The effects of opioid misuse can be felt by those using prescription opioids medically, as well as people who use these drugs illegally.

Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids can also produce a sense of euphoria (a high), which leads to people using them improperly. There are prescriptions opioids like codeine, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone and illegally produced opioids like bootleg fentanyl or carfentanil.

Due to their impact on the portion of the brain that controls breathing, opioid misuse or use in higher dosages may lead to difficulty breathing, overdose, and death. All opioids (prescription and non-prescription) have a risk of overdose.

If you or someone you care about is using opioids legally or illegally, it is important to have a Naloxone kit. Naloxone or Narcan® is a drug which can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose. When you receive a naloxone kit, you will be trained on how to use it. For more information on where to get a kit, visit

Find out about what is happening in Windsor-Essex County to develop a local plan to prevent and reduce the harms associated with opioid use and overdose.