Prescription opioids & heroin

More than ever, our community is aware of the dangers of heroin and opiate addiction. However, prescription drugs are still readily available and used by young adults in Stark County. A person may be prescribed opioids to support their recovery, and then unwillingly become addicted. When these individuals are refused additional prescriptions, heroin is often the go-to because it is easily accessible. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin or opiate use, find local detox, treatment and recovery programs.

Opiates and opioids are similar, highly addictive drugs. Opiates, including heroin, morphine and codeine are made from the opium poppy plant. Opioids is a broader term that includes opiates and synthetic opioids such as prescription painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone, as well as fentanyl and methadone.

Opioids are easy to come by for kids, teens and adults.  Most physicians prescribe these synthetic opiates for the right reasons, but some people increase their own doses when it’s not medically necessary. If opioids are not properly stored at home, kids can easily access them to use themselves or to sell.

Because opioid use has turned into an epidemic, you should know the signs of an overdose and what to do in that situation.

If someone is in immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise, here are some resources to prevent overdose and to support someone who is using opioids.

Signs of opiate addiction

People who are under the influence of prescription opioids or heroin may display the following symptoms:

  • Borrows or steals money for drugs
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating
  • Constricted pupils
  • Euphoria and noticeable elation
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Headaches, nausea and vomiting
  • Increased body temperature and sweating
  • Irregular bowl movements
  • Noticeable drowsiness
  • Pill bottles frequently found in trash
  • Seeks multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors
  • Slowed breathing and loss of consciousness
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Unpredictable behavior and mood swings
  • Withdraws from friends and family


Types of opioids

Opiates and opioids are similar, highly addictive drugs. Opiates, including heroin, morphine and codeine are made from the opium poppy plant. Opioids is a broader term that includes opiates and synthetic opioids such as prescription painkillers.

Many different drugs are considered opioids, including:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone


Brand-name opiates

Common brand-name opiates include:

  • Demerol
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Tylox
  • Vicodin


Who is at risk of an opioid overdose?

There is no guarantee that someone using opioids will not overdose. Some groups of people are at a higher risk. They include:

  • Those who mix drugs with alcohol, benzodiazepines or antidepressants
  • Those with a lowered tolerance for processing drugs
  • Those who have had a previous nonfatal overdose
  • High-dose opioid prescription user (greater than 80mg morphine equivalent)
  • Methadone prescription use
  • Illicit opiate use
  • Opioid use and smoking, COPD, emphysema, or other respiratory illness or obstruction
  • Opioid use and kidney dysfunction or lover disease
  • Opioid use and HIV/AIDS
  • Opioid use and concurrent alcohol or other drug use
  • Opioid use and mental health medications or sedating medications
  • People who have a short period of sobriety
  • Veterans and injured workers
  • New clients of methadone or other medication assisted treatment programs for addiction or pain management
Recognize the signs of an overdose

It can be difficult to tell the differences between someone who is very high and someone who is experiencing an overdose. If you’re unsure, consider the situation an overdose and get help immediately.

If someone is high on heroin or pills, their pupils may appear small, they’ll have slack muscles, they might nod out or be out of it but react to outside stimulus, their speech may be slurred, and their skin will be itchy.

A person who is high might make unfamiliar sounds in their sleep. Many people think it’s snoring, when in fact the person is overdosing.  Again, treat the situation like an overdose if you’re even slightly unsure.

Do not leave someone alone if you think they’re getting too high. If they’re conscious, keep them awake, pay attention to how they’re breathing and get them to walk around.

It can be difficult to recognize an overdose, so if you’re not sure, you should treat the situation like one. Call 911 right away and stay with the person until help arrives. Follow the directions of the 911 operator and tell the medical professionals everything the victim consumed or may have consumed.

If you have an overdose kit, you can administer naloxone to the person.

Do not do the following in the case of an overdose:

  • Do not allow the victim to “sleep it off”
  • Do not put the victim in a bath or shower
  • Do not inject the victim with anything
  • Do not leave the victim alone
  • Do not treat the victim with home remedies that do not work and often postpone potentially life-saving medical treatment
  • Do not postpone calling 911 while cleaning up

It can be difficult to recognize an overdose. Signs could include the following:

  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Choking or snore-like gurgling sounds
  • Tiny, constricted pupils
  • Falling asleep or loss of consciousness
  • Pale, blue or cold skin, lips, face and hands
  • Slow, erratic pulse
  • May complain of elevated body temperature
  • May behave irrationally or seem confused
  • Vomiting
  • Limp body
  • Unresponsive to outside stimuli like loud noises or someone lightly shaking them
  • May not respond to painful stimulation such as rubbing knuckles across his/her sternum
Where to get an overdose kit

If someone you know uses opiates/opiods, you should have an overdose kit on hand and know how to use it. They are free to Stark County residents from the resources listed below. Opiate overdose kits include naloxone (NARCAN Nasal Spray or EVZIO) that can reverse overdoses and the effects of opioids on the central nervous system.

Stark County residents can get a free overdose kit from the following places:

Alliance City Health Department

Collaborates with public health partners to protect Alliance residents. Nursing Programs:
  • Immunizations
  • WIC Supplemental Food Program
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic
  • Tuberculosis Skin Testing
  • HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing
  • Children with Medical Handicaps
  • Cribs for Kids
  • Car Seat Installation/Inspection Station
  • Newborn Home Visitation Program
  • Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
  • Medicaid Enrollment Assistance
Environmental Health Programs

Aultman/Alliance Community Hospital

Health care facility dedicated to improving the health of Alliance residents and surrounding communities. Emergency care with no appointment necessary.
200 East State St.
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 596-6000

Beacon Charitable Pharmacy

Connecting underinsured residents of Stark and Carroll Counties to quality health care and prescriptions.
2525 13th Street NW
Canton, OH 44708
Phone: (330) 445-1087
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

BrightView Canton Addiction Treatment Center

This comprehensive addiction treatment center provides outpatient treatment to patients struggling with drug abuse or alcohol addiction.
3545 Lincoln Way E.
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (866) 934-7450
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8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Canton City Health Department

Helping to prevent the spread of disease, promote healthy practices and protect the health of Canton City residents.
  • Programs: 
    • Request Narcan Kit via mail by submitting form here.
    • WIC
      • Effective March 16, Canton City WIC services are by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Click here for details. **At this time, infants and children do not need to be present in our office when staff issue food benefits to your WIC Card.*
    • Nursing Division 
      • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Clinic
      • Childhood Immunization Clinic
      • International Travel Clinic
    • THRIVE
      • Pregnant? Caring for a child under age 1? Stark County THRIVE Community Health Workers can help you connect to local services and items to keep you, your baby, and family healthy! Stark County THRIVE is still accepting clients. If you are pregnant or have a child under age 1, please fill out our online THRIVE Referral Form. You will be contacted by a Community Health Worker who will assist you with connections to services that meet your specific needs. All face-to-face visits will resume once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
    • Project SWAP
    • Vital Statistics
      • Our lobby is open to walk-in customers. Hours of operation are 8:00AM - 4:30PM Monday through Friday. Closed weekends, official holidays and other posted times.

Coleman Crisis Services

If you need immediate help, or are experiencing a mental health crisis, professional and confidential consultation is available. Call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Walk-in Clinic: 24/7 Crisis Services Call-in Clinic: 24/7 Crisis Services
2421 13th Street NW
Canton, OH 44708
24/7 Phone: (330) 452-6000
24/7 Phone: (330) 452-6000

CommQuest Alliance

CommQuest Alliance Outpatient Addiction and mental health counseling, psychiatric services, case management, and rape crisis Walk-in Assessment Hours: Monday: 12pm - 2pm Tuesday: 11am - 1pm Wednesday: 9:30am - 10:30am Thursday: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
1207 West State St.
Suites F & M
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 821-8407
Fax: (330) 821-8506
Stark County Sexual Assault Hotline - to connect to Alliance Rape Crisis Program: (330) 452-1111
Stark County Sexual Assault Hotline - to connect to Alliance Rape Crisis Program: (330) 452-1111
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8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 1:00 pm

CommQuest Canton

Addiction and mental health counseling, psychiatric services, case management, education and employment services, detox, hot meals, social center
  • CommQuest Cleveland Ave Outpatient - 625 Cleveland Ave NW Canton, OH 44702 Addiction and mental health counseling, psychiatric services, case management, and Supported Employment Program Phone: 330-445-2677 Site Hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8:00am - 6:00pm Wednesday: 8:00am - 7:00pm Friday: 8:00am - 1:00pm Walk-In Assessment Hours Monday & Tuesday: 8:30am - 11:30am Wednesday: 12:30pm - 3:30pm Thursday: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
  • CommQuest Market Ave Outpatient - 1341 Market Ave N Canton, OH 44714 Medication-assisted treatment, addiction and mental health counseling, Mom + Me program, drug screenings, and Family Support Group Phone: 330-453-8252 Site Hours Monday - Thursday: 7:30am - 7:00pm Friday: 7:30am - 1:00pm Dosing Hours Monday - Friday 6:00am - 10:00am Saturday: 6:00am - 7:00am OTP Clinic Hours Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 3:00pm Friday: 7:00am - 1:00pm Urine Drug Screen Hours Monday - Thursday: 6:00am - 1:30pm Friday: 6:00am - 12:30pm Walk-In Assessment Hours Monday: 10:30am - 2:30pm Tuesday: 9:30am - 4:30pm Wednesday: 8:30am - 2:30pm Thursday: 9:30am - 1:30pm Friday: 8:30am - 9:30am
  • CommQuest Detox - 2600 6th St SW Canton, OH 44710 Phone: 330-830-3393 Enrollment Hours Any day 7:00am - 10:00pm Walk-In Assessment Hours Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 7:00pm
  • CommQuest Samaritans Table - 627 McKinley Ave NW Canton, OH 44703 Hot meal service Thursdays 11:00am - 1:00pm Phone: 330-454-8044
  • CommQuest Canton Friendship - 2200 Cleveland Ave NW Canton, OH 44709 Social center, hot meal program, and group skills instruction Phone: 330-453-8776
  • CommQuest Payee Center - 601 Cleveland Ave NW Canton, OH 44702 Financial assistance for those who want or need a payee Phone: 330-453-4275 Window Hours Wednesdays 9:00am - 12:00pm Phone Hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00am - 2:00pm
  • CommQuest Metropolitan Centre - 601 Cleveland Ave NW Canton, OH 44702 Administration, education & employment services, school-based services, marketing, fund development and training Phone: 330-455-0374

CommQuest Massillon

Addiction and mental health counseling, psychiatric services, case management, family housing, male residential addiction treatment, driver intervention program
  • CommQuest Massillon Outpatient Addiction and mental health counseling, psychiatric services and case management Phone: 330-833-0234 Fax: 330-837-7705 130 1st St NW Massillon, OH 44647 Walk-In Assessment Hours: Monday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Tuesday: 11:30am - 1:30pm Wednesday: 10:30am - 12:30pm Thursday: 9:30am - 10:30am Friday: 9:30am - 10:30am
  • CommQuest Family Living Center Housing for homeless families If looking to be placed at a shelter in Stark County, you must call the Homeless Hotline at 330-452-4363 Phone: 330-452-9807 412 Lincoln Way East Massillon, OH 44646
  • CommQuest Massillon Recovery Campus Wilson Hall - male residential addiction treatment and Driver Intervention Program Wilson Hall Phone: 330-830-8740 DIP Phone: 330-834-1934 1680 Nave Rd Se Massillon, OH 44646

Community Drop In Center

Walk-in service for NARCAN kits every Thursday from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm in partnership with Canton Public Health. Their food pantry is open the second, third, and fourth Fridays each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1492 Cherry Ave. SE
Canton, OH 44707
Phone: (330) 456-7692

Family Empowerment Ministries

Classes on critical health topics for women who are pregnant or guardians of children under 12 months old.
425 E Market Street
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 913-7007
Hours: Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

I.M.P.A.C.T Evangelical Center COGIC

1411 Cherry Avenue Northeast
Canton, OH 44714
Call for appointment: 330-546-0055
Call for appointment: 330-546-0055

Massillon Health Department

Ensuring the accessibility of health services to all Massillon residents:
611 Erie St S
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: (330) 830-1710
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8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Stark County Health Department

Serves the public health needs of more than 250,000 people in Stark County:
7235 Whipple Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: (330) 493-9904
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8:00 am - 4:30 pm
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Jesus Spot

Overdose prevention kits containing Naloxone are available at no cost to Stark County residents. Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or Rx pain medications). If you know someone using opiates, get a kit and be prepared to save a life.
1145 Perry Drive NW
Canton, OH 44708
Phone: 330-280-4757
Helpful links

Community & Family Resources

Collection of helpful heroin and opiate support resources.

Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition

Advocating for education and awareness to help influence public policies and strengthen Ohio communities.

NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Helping individuals, families and friends affected by mental illness to transform their experiences into grassroots advocacy campaigns.

Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services

Information about prevention, treatment and recovery resources in Ohio.

Opiate Toolkit

Resources for students, educators and parents as they work to address our area’s increasing opiate epidemic.

Project Dawn

Stark County Health Department offers naloxone kits via Project Dawn.

Stark Heroin Epidemic

Learn where to go and what to do if you or a loved is suffering from heroin or prescription opiate use.