Take Back My Life

Take Back My Life is a campaign from the Frederick County Health Department aimed at expanding awareness of the deadly risks associated with prescription opioid and heroin misuse. Videos present real people in the Frederick area who have experienced opioid addiction—either their own or those of family members. They’re sharing their stories in hopes of saving other lives and households from the pain and heartbreak they’ve suffered.

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Opioid Facts 

  • Opioids are drugs that are commonly prescribed by physicians after surgery or to help relieve chronic pain.  
  • When taken exactly as directed by a medical professional, opioids are safe and can manage pain effectively.
  • Opioids work by attaching to proteins called opioids receptors in our brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body.  When attached to receptors in certain parts of the brain, they dull the sensation of pain and also cause feeling of relaxation and euphoria.
  • While they usually come in pill form, opioids are often crushed into powder and then snorted or injected to enter the bloodstream and brain more quickly.  This increases the risk of both addiction and overdose.
  • Heroin is an opioid form that is derived from morphine, which is extracted from poppy plants.  Research suggests that abuse of other types of abuse of other types of opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, can often lead to heroin addiction.  
  • Nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription opioids before moving on to heroin.
  • Many individuals take heroin because it is actually cheaper and easier to purchase than prescription opioids.  
  • In 2011, 4.2 million Americans, aged 12 and older, had reported using heroin at least once in their lives.