OPUS program - preventing opioid and fentanyl overdose

The Lakeview Center Overdose Prevention & Underlying Services Program (OPUS) is an opioid prevention program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). The program provides community education about opioid and fentanyl overdose risks, the benefits of overdose reversal medications such as NARCAN®, and Good Samaritan Laws. According to the National Institutes of Health, the basic premise of Good Samaritan Laws is to limit liability for those who voluntarily perform care and rescue in emergency situations. OPUS helps people in the throes of opioid addiction, with the primary goal of preventing death by overdose.

Goal: Prevent death by overdose.

There is no shame in seeking help for addiction, but the OPUS program is focused on helping people who are not yet ready to access treatment services. Why? Because fentanyl production is at epidemic proportions, and fentanyl is not detectable by the naked eye. An amount equal to a grain of salt can be deadly, and you don’t know if the next dose will be your last. As of July 2021, Florida is second in the nation for overdose deaths.


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What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but it is 50-100 times more potent. It’s a prescription drug used to treat severe or chronic pain, but it’s also illegally produced. Fentanyl is most often illegally sold as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, mixed with heroin, cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamines or made into pills that look like the pills you get from a pharmacy, making it impossible to detect the drug until it’s too late. A tiny amount of fentanyl puts everything you care about at risk.

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What is NARCAN?

Also known as Naloxone, NARCAN medication is easy to use and rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It works as an opioid antagonist, meaning it binds to opioid receptors to reverse and block the effects of opioids. However, NARCAN has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system. Before administering NARCAN, call 911. Those who are given NARCAN should be monitored for another two hours after the last dose to make sure breathing does not slow or stop.

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NARCAN is free.

Lakeview Center understands that addiction makes it extremely difficult to stop using opioids without help, but fentanyl continues taking more lives. If you or someone you know uses opioids, it’s important to get help for opioid addiction. Have a supply of NARCAN on hand to prevent a death during an overdose. It’s free.

For support services and free NARCAN, call the OPUS program at 850-595-0176.

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