Am I at Risk?

Some prescription painkillers are sometimes referred to as opioids. These types of medications can go by many names, and it’s possible that you or a loved one may be taking opioids without even knowing.

Did you know?

Each of these medications is considered an opioid:

Codeine and dihydrocodeine, tramadol, buprenorphine, methadone, diamorphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, and pethidine, among others

Respiratory depression can be a serious risk for anyone taking opioids.

You may be at increased risk if: 2-4

  • You’re taking opioids for the first time.
  • You have a respiratory condition (sleep apnea, COPD, asthma) or a chronic health condition.
  • You’re combining opioids with alcohol other drugs, such as sleeping pills or cough medicine.
  • You’re taking high opioid doses.
  • You have a reduced tolerance of opioids following a detox.

The risks are too great to ignore.

About half of opioid-related deaths happen when a person is alone. Without intervention, permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes.5


  • 1 National Safety Council. Prescription opioid pain killer public opinion poll. October 2017.
  • 2 Opioid Overdose.” World Health Organization, 28 Aug. 2020,
  • 3 Gupta K et al. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2018;31(1):110-119.
  • 4 Dunn KM et al. Annals of internal medicine. 2010;152(2):85-92.
  • 5 Ontario Drug Policy Research Network. “Opioid Mortality Surveillance Report.” Public Health Ontario, 2019, p. 33,