The School Mental Health ASSIST program (supported through CAMH) – has a selection of print resources about opioids for parents, educators, and youth:
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The use of any opioid which is not prescribed to the person is not legal. It is not legal to sell, buy, or traffic opioids, at any age. These are offences which are enforced by the police.
Most young people report that they access opioids from home. Specifically, in the OSDUHS survey, 59% of students who indicated they had misused prescription opioids said they took them from a parent, sibling, or someone else they live with.
Beyond the risk of overdose, there are other harmful effects and behaviors that can happen with the misuse or abuse of opioids. Some of these behaviors can increase the risk of overdose or lead to other dangerous outcomes.
Everyone is susceptible to overdose when opioids are misused or abused, or black market drugs are consumed. Every person is different. There is no exact way to know how much of a certain drug, or combination of drugs, will lead to an overdose.
In recent years, prescription opioids used non-medicinally have replaced tobacco as the fourth most commonly used drug among Ontario teens (at about 10%), behind alcohol, marijuana, and e-cigarettes.
When someone uses opioids improperly or in the wrong dosage, an overdose can happen. Due to the impact opioids have on the portion of the brain that controls breathing, opioid use in higher dosages may lead to difficulty breathing, overdose, and death.
Opioids are a family of drugs that are used to relieve pain. Opioids are psychoactive substances. This means that they affect your mind, mood, and mental processes and can also induce euphoria, or the feeling of being “high.”, which may lead people to misuse or abuse them.