Examples of opioids include:
What do opioids look like?
Prescription opioids come in various forms.
Who uses opioids?
Opioids are prescribed by physicians to people with acute or chronic pain resulting from disease, surgery or injury. Because of the risk of abuse, opioids are prescribed cautiously for chronic pain. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of prescription opioids legally dispensed in Canada climbed almost 24 percent with more than 21.7 million prescriptions dispensed last year. Opioid misuse is the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario.
How do opioids make you feel?
The way opioids affect you depends on many factors, including:
- how much you use
- how often and how long you use opioids
- how you take them (e.g., by injection, orally)
- your mood, expectations and environment
- your age
- whether you have certain pre-existing medical or psychiatric conditions
- whether you’ve taken any alcohol or other drugs
Low doses of opioids decrease the sensation of pain and the emotional response to pain. They may also produce euphoria, drowsiness, relaxation, difficulty concentrating, constricted pupils, a slight decrease in breathing rate, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite and sweating.
With higher doses, these effects are more intense and last longer. The speed and intensity of the effects of opioids vary depending on how the drugs are taken. When taken by mouth, the effects come on gradually, and are usually felt in about 10 to 20 minutes. When injected into a vein, the effects are most intense and are felt within a minute.
How long does the feeling last?
When opioids are taken to relieve pain, the duration of the effect varies somewhat depending on the type of opioid taken. For many opioids, a single dose can provide pain relief for four to five hours.
What's happening in London?
London has multiple overlapping drug-related crises that require a range of layered responses.
Evaluation of London's Temporary Overdose Prevention Site
Issue Note - Drug Crisis
Download the briefing note to learn more about how the Health Unit is working to address the drug crisis in London.
Business Case for Supervised Consumption in London, Ontario
Report provided to the Middlesex-London Board of Health - September 2018
Siting of Supervised Consumption Facilities
Report to City of London Planning and Environment Committee - April 30, 2018