Opioids account for 77%² of drug related deaths and have become the leading cause of death for those aged under 50 in the USA³. In the UK, 2,263 deaths involved opiates in 2020 an increase of 4.8% on the previous year⁴.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, fentanyl, and painkillers such as morphine or codeine, that are derived or related to the opium poppy. When used correctly, prescription pain relief is helpful in managing chronic pain. They work by attaching to receptors in the central nervous system, reducing pain signals to the brain to produce a calming effect.
Despite the essential use in healthcare environments, opioids are often highly addictive, and abuse can have a devastating impact. At Vernacare, we work to contribute towards the prevention of overdose via our work within Harm Reduction. Our dedicated team, work with governments, charities, and harm reduction organisations and services to reduce the risk associated with injecting drug use.