Overdose Rescue



Opioids are powerful psychoactive chemicals that have the ability to effectively relieve serious pain by binding with key receptors in the brain. When used as prescribed, opioids may help relieve and control severe or chronic pain.

Because prescription opioids can create a sense of euphoria, some people misuse them to get high. If used too much, dependency and addiction can occur and the risk of overdose increases.

Commonly misused opioids include: Roxicodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone, (OxyContin), tramadol and codeine (cough medicine).


Fentanyl was developed as a strong prescription painkiller for patients with severe, long-term pain. It is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent and extremely dangerous to misuse. Improperly ingesting or touching even a tiny amount can cause overdose or death.


Heroin is a dangerous and illegal street opioid. People sometimes try it as a replacement for legal pain medication but it has no medical use. It is highly addictive and often deadly.


Naloxone is a safe and legal antidote to reverse an opioid overdose. It neutralizes the opioids (prescription pain meds, heroin or methadone), reverses fatal side effects and helps someone breathe again.


According to the National Insitute of Health, opioid overdose deaths are up almost 400% since the turn of the century. In the wake of this increase, Butte County first responders and law enforcement are taking crucial steps to ensure that opioid overdose deaths are prevented.

In fall of 2018, Butte County received a grant from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that provided more than 550 boxes of naloxone to first responders and law enforcement. Along with receiving the drug, the first responders were educated on signs of opioid overdose, and how to administer the naloxone. This training has had a positive impact on overdose deaths in our community.

In January 2019, twelve lives were saved when first responders administered naloxone in a massive fentanyl overdose in Chico. 


As of March 2019:

  • 400 Overdose Rescue Kits Distributed to First Responders Countywide
  • 6 Agencies Educated – Oroville PD, Chico PD, Butte County Behavioral Health, Butte County CalFire, Butte County Sheriff’s Office, and local Physicians


On January 12, 2019, Chico Fire Department, Police Department, and Butte County EMS responded to a report of a “mass casualty” overdose that killed one man, and left 12 injured. There were early indications that the mass overdose was caused by the ingestion of fentanyl combined with another illict substance. According to Chico Fire Department, there were six people receiving CPR at the same time, and all six received the opioid overdose reversal spray, Narcan.

  Adapted from Ventura County Behavioral Health / www.venturacountyresponds.org 

News & Media            Butte County Behavioral Health Prevention Services: (530) 891-2891

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