Substance use issues are a real problem affecting our families and communities every day. Whether you’re an individual struggling, a concerned loved one, or a community advocate, it’s time for action. Learn the facts.

Words Matter

What is stigma?

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma about people with substance use issues might include inaccurate or unfounded thoughts like they are dangerous, incapable of managing treatment, or at fault for their condition.

How does stigma affect people dealing with substance use?

Feeling stigmatized can reduce the willingness of individuals dealing with substance use to seek treatment. Stigmatizing views of people with substance use issues are common and can lead others to feel pity, fear, anger, and a desire for social distance from individuals dealing with substance use.

How can we change stigmatizing behavior?

When talking to people with substance use issues, their loved ones, and your colleagues, use non-stigmatizing language that reflects an accurate, science-based understanding of substance use and is consistent with your professional role. Because clinicians are typically the first points of contact for a person with substance use issues, health professionals should “take all steps necessary to reduce the potential for stigma and negative bias.” Take the first step by learning the terms to avoid and use.
Use person-first language and let individuals choose how they are described. Person-first language maintains the integrity of individuals as whole human beings—by removing language that equates people to their condition or has negative connotations. For example, “person with substance use issues” has a neutral tone and distinguishes the person from his or her diagnosis.

Carry Naloxone

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Specifically, naloxone allows an overdose victim to breathe normally. It is not addictive and cannot be abused.

Who should have Naloxone?

Anyone who is concerned about overdose; uses: alcohol, benzodiazepines, or muscle relaxers with opioids; has liver, kidney, or breathing problems; or uses illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl for themselves or someone they care about should carry Naloxone.

Naloxone Training

Training on recognizing and responding to opioid overdose is available for first responders and community members. Contact overdose.prevention@odmhsas.org for more information.

Get Naloxone

In Oklahoma, Naloxone is available for free, without a doctor’s visit or prescription required. It’s available at many pharmacies across the state.

 Substance Use Educational Resources

Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) 

The Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (OPNA) is a biennial survey of public, private, and charter school students in the 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. The survey is conducted through a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), Cherokee Nation, Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, Regional Prevention Coordinators (RPCs), other regional prevention services providers, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.  

Substance-Related Car Crash Data

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office produces publications and problem identification data including in-depth analysis of crash numbers, rates and locations. Crash data is used by many highway safety professionals across the state to evaluate traffic safety priority areas and propose potential solutions.

Grant/funding opportunities for schools and communities 

ODMHSAS resources: 

OK prescriber guidelines

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Get help now

Findtreatment.gov

Millions of Americans have a substance use disorder. Find a treatment facility near you.

National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Treatment referral and information, 24/7