Help is available for opioid use disorder (OUD) in Lowell.
Call 911 if you suspect an overdose. Here are the common overdose signs. Recognizing an overdose can be difficult. If you aren't sure, it is best to treat the situation like an overdose - you could save a life.
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Each person has a personal path to recovery from opioid use disorder, and treatment with medication is a medical standard of care. People who stop using opioids often go back to using them if they do not use medication to help them. Stopping and then restarting opioid use increases the chance of dying from an overdose.
Naloxone is a medicine that can save someone’s life if they are overdosing on opioids — whether it’s a prescription opioid, heroin, or a drug containing fentanyl. FDA approved forms of naloxone that are available include the nasal sprays Narcan® and Kloxxado™, the ZIMHI™ prefilled syringe, and generic formulations that are used with a syringe or IV.
Anyone can give naloxone to a person who may be overdosing, even if you don’t know what they have overdosed on.
You can get it from a pharmacy or local health department without a personal prescription, often for free.
It can be used on pregnant women.
It is safe to keep around children.
It is not safe to share unused medications with others, and it is important remove all leftover prescription pain medication from your home. Medication take-back drop boxes and events are the best way to safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medicines that have passed their expiration date or are no longer needed. See the map above to find local disposal sites.
All medicines dropped off at the drug disposal sites will be destroyed and discarded. Before disposing of medications, remove all personal information on the label of pill bottles or medicine packaging. To safely dispose of medicine at home, mix with coffee grounds or other unpalatable substances before disposing in the trash or check the FDA list for opioids that can be flushed down the toilet. You can also ask your local pharmacist for advice on how best to dispose of a specific medicine.
Lowell is taking important steps to address the opioid crisis in your community and across the country by participating in the HEALing Communities Study. Learn more about the study, which is being implemented in four states.
You can make a difference too.
Spread the word. Help others in Lowell find help and learn how they can get involved.
Stigma is the disapproval of, or discrimination against, a person based on a negative stereotype. Stigma often affects how people with opioid use disorder are treated, making it difficult for them to find jobs, places to live, and medical care.