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Recovery resources

Joining a recovery community can aid young people in staying committed to their personal recovery journey. It also helps them prevent and overcome setbacks. These supportive communities offer a network of peers who live substance-free lives. In Massachusetts, various types of support are available for young individuals recovering from substance use disorders.

Massachusetts Opioid Helplines


If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use, there are numerous helplines available in Massachusetts to provide support, information, and resources:

  • Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline Call Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at(800) 327–5050

    • Voice and hearing users

  • Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline Call Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at(800) 720–3480

    • TTY and ASCII users

Opioid Overdose Risk Factors


Stay Safe. Know the risks. Carry Naloxone.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of an opioid overdose:

  1. Changes in Tolerance:

    • Occurs after periods of reduced or no opioid use, such as after in-patient treatment or incarceration.

  2. Changes in the Drug Supply:

    • Variations in drug potency and composition can be dangerous.

  3. Mixing Opioids with Respiratory Depressants:

    • Combining with alcohol or benzodiazepines (benzos) increases overdose risk.

  4. Mixing Opioids with Stimulants:

    • Combining with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can be harmful.

  5. Chronic Health Conditions:

    • Conditions such as HIV, Hepatitis C, lung disease, and heart disease heighten overdose risk.

  6. History of Past Overdoses:

    • Previous overdose incidents increase future risk.

Prevent a Fatal Overdose

Implement these harm reduction strategies to prevent fatal overdoses:

  1. Carry Naloxone:

    • Always have naloxone on hand, preferably multiple doses.

  2. Use with Someone Else Around:

    • Ensure someone is present who can respond if an overdose occurs.

  3. Alternate Use:

    • Take turns using drugs so one person can respond if the other overdoses.

  4. Call Someone if Alone:

    • Notify a trusted person before using, stay on the phone with them, or have them check on you after 10 minutes. Provide your location in case they need to call 911.

  5. Use Overdose Monitoring Services:

    • Call Massachusetts Overdose Prevention Helping (Never Use Alone New England) at 1-800-972-0590 or use overdose monitoring devices and phone-based apps.

  6. Semi-Public Use:

    • If alone, use in a location where others can find you, and leave naloxone nearby.

  7. Start Low and Go Slow:

    • Test the drug with a small dose and wait to see how your body reacts.

  8. Avoid Mixing Substances:

    • Do not mix opioids with alcohol, benzos, or other substances.

Information on Fentanyl

What is it?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid used in hospitals for anesthesia, pain control, and sedation. It is also prescribed for chronic pain as a transdermal patch. Fentanyl has significantly contributed to the rise in opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts since 2013.

Where has it been found?

Fentanyl is sold as is, mixed with heroin, or present in other drugs such as cocaine and pressed pills without users' knowledge.

What can I do about fentanyl?

  • Test for Fentanyl:

    • Use fentanyl test strips available at BSAS-funded Syringe Service programs or CNPP programs. Order test strips for free from the MA Clearinghouse. Brandeis University’s drug-checking program also offers testing services.

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