Learn about the risks.
Prescription opioids are highly addictive – always use with extreme caution.
Talk about it.
Talk to your doctor, your pharmacist, your children, and family and friends.
If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t wait. You just might save someone’s life.
How to prevent prescription opioid misuse and abuse:
Talk to your doctor about OTHER OPTIONS for pain relief that may work better and have fewer side effects.
STORE IN A SECURE PLACE – out of reach of children, family, friends, and visitors.
KEEP TRACK OF QUANTITIES: Knowing how many prescribed opioids have been taken – and how many remain in the bottle – will help you know if any have been taken by someone else.
Never take opioids with ALCOHOL or any other prescribed or over-the-counter MEDICATIONS.
NEVER MIX opioids with Benzodiazepines (Xanax or Valium), muscle relaxants (Soma or Flexeril), or hypnotics (Ambien or Lunesta).
Immediately return the bottle to a LOCKED CABINET OR OTHER SAFE PLACE after taking the prescribed dose of a prescription opioid.
Read and follow your prescription’s label directions carefully. NEVER TAKE MORE THAN PRESCRIBED.
NO LOOSE PILLS: Prescription opioids should only be kept in the bottle provided by your pharmacy.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR about other prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements you are taking.
Never SHARE OR SELL prescription opioids.
TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS. Be sure they understand the serious risks and side effects of prescription opioids.
DRAMATIC INCREASES IN THE NUMBER OF OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE OPIOID CRISIS
Here are some common signs that a prescription could be a problem:
- When a person develops a tolerance – they need higher doses to relieve the same pain
- When a person becomes physically dependent – they experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication
- When opioids are used incorrectly – mixed with alcohol, other prescriptions, or over-the-counter medications
- When opioids are shared or given to others for pain or recreational use
FIND OTHER WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR PAIN
Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, some options may actually work better and have fewer risks and side effects.
Before you begin taking a prescription opioid, consider:
- Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Advil (Ibuprofen)
- Heat or Ice
- Exercise and weight loss
- Acupuncture, massage, or gentle yoga
- Exercise therapy
- Physical therapy
- Injections therapy
- Therapies that teach you how to modify physical, behavioral, and emotional triggers for pain and stress
- Non-opioid medications for depression or seizures
- Re-evaluate your pain and what’s bearable
- Prescription opioids may help in the short-term but can be harmful long-term
- Talk with your doctor about alternate options that may work better and have fewer side effects
If you are a healthcare provider, resources are available to help ensure your patients have access to safe & effective chronic pain treatment.