top of page



Opioids are a class of drugs that include potent pain-relievers such as OxyContin®, Vicodin®, and others, heroin and fentanyl. Even when prescription opioids are taken as prescribed, extended use can lead to dependence and, if misused, may result in fatal overdoses.


Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction:

  • Intense cravings for opioids

  • Inability to regulate or diminish opioid usage

  • Tolerance development

  • Manifestation of withdrawal symptoms post-reduction or cessation of use

  • Difficulty fulfilling social or work obligations

  • Legal repercussions due to substance use

  • Significant time investment in obtaining opioids


Prescription Drugs & Fentanyl

Prescription drug misuse is defined as taking a medication that isn’t prescribed to you or taking prescribed medication in larger doses or more often than prescribed. Prescription drugs are not a safer alternative to illicit drugs; they are only safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor. 


Thankfully 85.5% of Wolcott students in grades 7-12 reported a moderate to great risk in their perception of harm when it comes to using prescription drugs recreationally. However, 1 in 10 high school students in Connecticut admitted to consuming prescription pain medications without a prescription or in manners different from what was prescribed. Of the teens who misuse these drugs, 70% report getting them from family or friends’ medicine cabinets. 


Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs:
  • Opioid Pain Relievers (e.g., OxyContin, Vicodin)

  • Depressants (e.g., Xanax, Valium)

  • Stimulants (e.g., Adderall, Ritalin)


Do your part to prevent prescription drug misuse by practicing safe storage and disposal. Store all medications in a locked cabinet or lockbox and properly dispose of any unused medications. Find helpful tips here

YTYK 7 out of 10 slider.jpeg

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is the leading cause of overdose deaths across Connecticut and the nation. In 2021, fentanyl claimed more lives than gun- and auto-related incidents combined. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) is being mixed into substances like cocaine and pressed into pills that are made to look like Xanax, OxyContin and Adderall. These pills are claiming the lives of teens and adults across the nation. 


Shockingly, seven out of ten counterfeit pills tested for fentanyl contain a lethal dose. Connecticut data reveals that approximately 83.3% of deaths in 2023 were linked to fentanyl. Preliminary data for 2023 suggests 282 deaths (21.2%) involved both xylazine and fentanyl. Notably, drug overdose death rates were highest among individuals aged 35–44 in Connecticut between 2020 and 2023. Moreover, from 2021 to 2023, there was a significant increase in drug overdose mortality rates within the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations compared to 2020. (Data Source: Department of Public Health)

When it comes to fentanyl, it only takes 2mg, which is smaller than a pencil tip, to cause a fatal overdose. Learn more about fake pills, how teens are getting them and what you can do to protect your family at



Xylazine is a veterinary tranquilizer that is being mixed into substances along with fentanyl. According to the DEA, xylazine-fentanyl combinations have been reported in 48 out of 50 states and in 2022, approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine. 

Xylazine first appeared in Connecticut in 2019. In 2022, xylazine was present in 24.7% of all overdose deaths in the state, totaling 353 fatalities. This drug is not an opioid which means naloxone does not reverse an overdose of Xylazine. It’s important to note, naloxone should always be given anytime an overdose is suspected.

bottom of page