The Texas Office of the Attorney General is working to protect Texans from the scourge of opioid painkiller abuse and related overdoses which are devastating families throughout the state.
Opioid related deaths in Texas in 2016
Nationwide opioid related deaths in 2016
300,000 died due to opioid abuse
In September 2017, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan coalition of 40 other states served investigative subpoenas and additional requests on eight companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive painkillers. On May 15, 2018, Texas filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for violating state laws against deceptive trade practices and misrepresenting the risk of addiction to its painkillers, including OxyContin, to patients and doctors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people who abuse prescription opioids get them for free from a friend or relative. However, those who are at highest risk of overdose (using prescription opioids nonmedically 200 or more days a year) get them in ways that are different from those who use them less frequently. These people get opioids from friends or relatives for free (26 percent), buy them from friends or relatives (23 percent), or buy from a drug dealer (15 percent). Those at highest risk of overdose are about four times more likely than the average user to buy the drugs from a dealer or other stranger.
Some people are first introduced to prescription opioids by borrowing or stealing them from a relative or acquaintance. Help deter this possibility by returning unused opioids to a drug return kiosk or by disposing of the opioids safely and effectively through Walmart’s Free DisposeRx and Walgreens Medication Disposal Locations.
Opioid overdose can result in respiratory depression and death. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the respiratory depression and death. It is readily available at pharmacies.
In case of a respiratory arrest secondary to opioids, call 911, give naloxone, and begin CPR. Signs of an opioid overdose may include any of the following:
Learn more from the Harm Reduction Coalition on responding to an opioid overdose.