Health promotion and prevention of Substance Use involves providing education, awareness-raising activities, and developmental asset building approaches to improve resiliency as well as strengthening local policies.
Health promotion in action:
Stigma is the use of negative stereotypes to judge or discriminate. Unfortunately, stigma is one of the largest, most impactful barriers that individuals with mental illness and/or people who use drugs face on a daily basis.
Using language that is respectful, non-judgemental and accurate is important to help reduce stigma. Toward the Heart provides some helpful tips for language that can help reduce stigma.
Substance use impacts everyone in the community. The impact can have serious health risks to individuals, families and communities. Learn how we can all play a role to reduce substance use. To view personal stories visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/prescription-drug-abuse/opioids/resources-toolkit.html
Education on substance use
What are opioids?
Opioids are drugs that may be prescribed to manage pain or can be used illegally for its euphoric properties (feeling high). Consuming too much of an opioid, or a combination of opioids, can lead to an overdose. Even when using prescribed opioids, there is a risk for overdose. For more information about opioids visit Health Canada or CAMH.
Examples of opioids:
- Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
- Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®)
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger. Fentanyl has been appearing in more common illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine. The equivalent of two grains of salt can be fatal to a person.
Fentanyl has no taste, no smell and you can’t see it. Individuals may not be aware their drugs are laced with fentanyl. Even a small amount can cause an overdose or be fatal.
What is carfentanil?
Carfentanil is an opioid that is used by veterinarians for very large animals like elephants. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Carfentanil is not intended for human consumption. An amount the size of a grain of salt, or 20 micrograms could be fatal to a person.
Carfentanil has no taste, no smell and you can’t see it. Individuals may not be aware their drugs are laced with carfentanil. Even a small amount can cause an overdose or be fatal.
Learn more about street drugs and talking about them, we can begin to find solutions to the challenges that come from substance use.
Check out our tips on overdose prevention and naloxone to reduce your risk!
Awareness and Prevention of Substance Use
- Caregivers are important role models. Your words and actions help shape children’s ideas about substances. Learn how you can make the difference.
- Learn about safe use of opioid prescriptions for children.
- Help your children understand the safe use of medicine
Youth and teens
- Caregivers continue to play an important role in youth’s lives as they age into adolescence. Having conversations about the risks and harms with substance use is vital. Learn more at Health Canada, PAD, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction or Drug Free Kids.
- To learn more about the facts and risks when medications are mixed, visit Drug Cocktails.
- If you have a problem and need someone to talk to, visit Kids Help Phone.
Adults and older adults
- Storing and taking medication safely can reduce the risks of harm and substance use.
- How or where to dispose of unwanted or expired medication.
- Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about your medications and how they can affect health, wellbeing and safety.
- We all play a role in keeping your community safe when it comes to medication disposal. View the Fish Can’t Say No to Drugs video to learn more.
This item was last modified on August 26, 2020