An opioid (sometimes called opiate) drug is a prescription drug that is used to relieve pain.  They are derived from the poppy plant and are prescribed under the more commonly known names of codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, as well as others.


Many do not realize that the same ingredient used to make these prescription medications is chemically altered into the illegal drug heroin.


Often times, heroin addiction starts by taking opioid prescription medications.  A person can easily become addicted to one of these painkillers in just one prescription.  The body builds a tolerance to the medication, requiring the individual to take more and more of it to experience the same level of relief.  Over time, the person is taking more than prescribed and becomes dependent on the medication in a different way.  They no longer need it to feel better, but to avoid feeling sick from the addiction.


If a person becomes addicted to a prescription opioid and can no longer obtain prescriptions legally, they may turn to heroin as a replacement.


Sadly, an injury, accident, or surgery, where a prescription opioid is used for pain management, can lead to a lifelong illness and addiction if not carefully managed.


For more information on opioid addiction, visit www.drugabuse.gov.

Prescribe Change Allegany County’s mission is to create awareness and educate the citizens of Allegany County, Maryland about the growing crisis of opioid prescription drugs, and heroin misuse and abuse in our community.




Listen and watch for our information about the prescription drug and heroin crisis in Allegany County on our billboards, radio ads, in the newspaper and at the movies.  Contact us for more information at 301.759.5050. Look for our Prescribe Change Allegany County ambassadors at the following events:

Monday, October 17, 2016 @ 4:30 PM

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 4:30 PM

Community Naloxone Training

- Become a Naloxone Administrator -

Must register in advance. Call 301-759-5050 for details.

Download Naloxone Training Application

The "Good Samaritan Law" went into effect October 1, 2014.  The law establishes that, "a person who, in good faith, seeks, provides, or assists with the provision of medical assistance for a person experiencing an alcohol- or drug-related medical emergency (such as an overdose) may be immune from criminal prosecution for specific violations if the evidence was obtained solely as a result of the person reaching out for medical assistance.  The bill also protects the person experiencing the medical emergency under the same conditions from prosecution for specific violations."



Prescribe Change Allegany County

Allegany County Health Department

12501-12503 Willowbrook Road

PO Box 1745

Cumberland, Maryland 21501-1745

(301) 759-5050