Escape the Escape

Opioids kill. Learn more about the risks and how to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with the use of fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, or any other opioids.


The Escape

Opioids boost feelings of pleasure and minimize feelings of pain. When the drug wears off, you may find yourself wanting those good feelings back as soon as possible. Opioids are often misused as an escape from:

  • Problems with school, family, and friends
  • Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD
  • Low self-esteem or self-worth
  • Physical pain caused by a chronic condition

A Dose of Reality

Plane crashes, being caught in a fire, and being bitten by a snake are common fears, but a bigger danger may lie inside a bottle of pills. Consequences of opioid misuse include:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Isolation leading to the loss of friends and family
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, and diarrhea and vomiting
  • Overdoses which can lead to a coma, permanent brain damage, and death

The odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose are greater than the odds of dying in a car crash.*

*Source: Odds of Dying - Injury Facts. (2023, March 1). Injury Facts.

It's Not Too Late

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use, it's not too late to seek help. See the resources below for steps you can take to treat and prevent opioid use disorder.

Early intervention substance use counseling.

YNHS SUDP/SUDPTs work within the Behavioral Health team to support patients through substance use and recovery. Services include case management, treatment planning, community resource coordination, and collaboration with medical, behavioral health, and social service providers. Schedule an appointment at (509) 454-4143 or visit our main Yakima clinic (12 S 8th St) to learn more.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.

YNHS Medical and Behavioral Health teams offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for alcohol and opioid dependency. Schedule an appointment with our SUDP/SUDPTs at (509) 454-4143 or visit our main Yakima clinic (12 S 8th St) to learn more.

Medication Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) program.

YNHS Medical and Behavioral Health teams administer an integrated MOUD program for opioid dependence. Commonly referred to as the “Suboxone program,” MOUD uses buprenorphine/naloxone (aka Suboxone) to treat opioid dependence by preventing craving and withdrawal syndromes. Unlike methadone, patients do not need daily dosing at a clinic, but regular appointments and close monitoring are required. To increase the likelihood of success, each MOUD patient will work with a care coordinator, SUDP/SUDPT, and other clinical team members, such as a mental health provider, pharmacist, or psychologist. Schedule an appointment with our SUDP/SUDPTs at (509) 454-4143 or visit our main Yakima clinic (12 S 8th St) to learn more.

Career and education counseling.

YNHS Employment Case Managers support clients with substance use and mental health diagnoses as they navigate job searches, GED programs, college courses, and more. Schedule an appointment at (509) 249-6232 or visit Neighborhood Connections (102 S Naches Ave) to learn more.

YNHS Sites Offering Naloxone (Narcan):

  • Neighborhood Connections at 102 S. Naches Avenue
  • Neighborhood Health Sunnyside at 617 Scoon Road

Comprehensive Health Care

Crisis Triage Center and Sub-Acute Detox Facility
505 S 4th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 453-2900

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment services such as Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), group counseling, and individual counseling sessions are accessed at Entrance 4 of the Yakima Center.
402 S 4th Ave Entrance 4, Yakima, WA 98902
Doors open at 7:30 am and close at 5:00 pm
(509) 575-4922

Triumph Treatment Services
120 S 3rd St, Yakima, WA 98901
(509) 248-1800

SAFE Yakima Valley
Community prevention, youth mentoring, drug takeback, and naloxone distribution.

Yakima Health District’s Syringe Services Program
Provides treatment resources, low-barrier access to sterile supplies for safer substance use, and overdose prevention tools like naloxone and fentanyl test strips.
South 3rd St and Adams St, Yakima, WA 98901
Thursday 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
(509) 249-6546

Naloxone (Narcan) can be purchased over the counter in most drug stores or pharmacies. It is also available using the Statewide Standing Order for Naloxone and insurance. WA Medicaid (Apple Health) covers naloxone, including over-the-counter, with no copay. If transportation, stigma, or other barriers prevent you from accessing these resources, you can order free naloxone kits by mail or find a local distribution center near you.

Washington Recovery Help Line
Anonymous, confidential 24-hour help line for Washington State residents experiencing substance use disorder, problem gambling, and mental health challenges.
Call 1-866-789-1511 or 1-866-833-6546 (Teen Link) 24/7/365.
Text 1-866-789-1511 M-F, 9 am-9 pm.

Washington State Quitline
Counseling calls and nicotine replacement therapy.
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, text READY to 200-400, or go to to start the Quitline registration and learn about available services.

988 Crisis Line
People can call or text 988 or chat at for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 988 serves as a universal entry point so no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a caring, trained counselor who can help. 988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. That could be thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, emotional distress, and other reasons to connect.

Focus on the Facts

Misinformation about opioids can spread quickly. The following questions and answers come from sources such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Safety Council (NSC).


What is an opioid?


Opioids are a class of drugs that reduce feelings of pain. Common opioids include codeine, morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), fentanyl and heroin.


Can I become addicted to opioids?


Anyone who takes an opioid at any time can become addicted to them. Opioid addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms when opioid use is stopped.


What are the risks of taking opioids?


Common side effects of opioids include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and constipation. Opioids are also associated with severe risks such as addiction, mental and physical health problems, and overdose leading to death.


Can I take opioids without the side effects and risks?


No. Anyone who uses opioids is at risk for experiencing side effects, becoming addicted, or overdosing.


What is harm reduction?


Harm reduction is just what it sounds like: reducing the harm of drug use with tools and knowledge. The most effective harm reduction tools include free syringe service programs, overdose prevention sites, and naloxone (NARCAN®) kits and training. Naloxone (NARCAN®) is a medicine that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.


Does harm reduction encourage people to use drugs?


No. It is a common misconception that harm reduction encourages drug use. Studies show that people use drugs whether they have harm-reduction tools or not. Withholding harm reduction does not prevent drug use; it just makes it more dangerous.


What are the signs of an opioid overdose?


An opioid overdose is a breathing emergency. The key sign of an overdose is a lack of response to pinching, shaking, or loudly calling a person's name. Other major signs of an overdose include breathing slowly or not at all, making gurgling noises, and turning very pale with blue or purple fingernails.


What should I do if someone has overdosed on an opioid?


If you think a person has overdosed, immediately call 911 and wait with the person until medical help has arrived. If you have naloxone (NARCAN®), administer it to the person to help restore breathing.


Can touching an opioid cause an overdose?


No. You can't overdose on an opioid by touching it. Opioids must be consumed directly to cause an overdose.


What is fentanyl?


Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Even one dose can be deadly.


Can fentanyl be found in other drugs?


Because fentanyl is cheap to produce, people who make illegal drugs commonly mix fentanyl with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine to make their product cheaper and stronger. It can also be made into counterfeit pills that resemble other prescription drugs such as oxycodone and Adderall®. Because fentanyl does not have a taste or smell, you will most likely be unaware of its presence. Fentanyl test strips are the only way to detect the presence of fentanyl in different kinds of drugs.