Opioid Safety

Opioids are a class of drugs that reduce feelings of pain. There are prescription opioids like Oxycodone and Vicodin that doctors prescribe to treat severe pain. Heroin and illegally-made fentanyl are illegal opioids. While prescription opioids have been used as painkillers, they have great potential for misuse.

Drug overdose is a nationwide crisis. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have increased more than five times since 1999. An average of 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Many of these deaths are preventable.

Harm Reduction


Narcan inhaler
Naloxone spray

Naloxone is a lifesaving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time. Pharmacists in Oregon can now prescribe Naloxone, find a pharmacy that distributes naloxone.

Syringe Exchange

Outside In needle exchange is available Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Clackamas Service Center. Naloxone is also available during needle exchange hours. Address: 8800 SE 80th Ave. Portland, OR 97206

Prescription drug disposal and storage

Sharing or saving medications is a bad idea. Over 80% of misused prescriptions are obtained from someone other than a doctor. People most commonly report they got drugs from a friend or family member.

How can I properly store my medications?

  • Store as directed in the original containers the medications come in
  • Lock medications in a safe and secure cabinet or drawer
  • Monitor medications and always know how much you should have at any given time
  • Properly dispose of any unused medications

How can I dispose of my unused medications?

Medications should not be flushed down the toilet or drain because they can contaminate the local water supply. We have several drug take-back sites in our county to use.
If you are unable to use a disposal site, mix medications into undesirable waste, such as kitty litter, and throw it away. Make sure to remove identifiable patient information from labels before throwing away the medication containers. 

Other Resources

Help is available if you know someone struggling with addiction:

Clackamas County Crisis Line 503-655-8585
Lines for Life alcohol & drug helpline 800-923-4357

For more information on opioid prevention, please contact Apryl Herron aprylher@clackamas.us.