Protect yourself and loved ones from opioid addiction

While the opioid epidemic isn’t good news, it’s good news that New Opportunities is pro-actively providing us information to help avoid the tragedy of a pain-reliever addition striking our families.

Information provided by New Opportunities follows:

We are beginning to hear more and more about the opioid epidemic, a problem that is quickly moving across the nation.

Opioid drugs are very addictive and change the way your brain works. They throw your body into complete chaos! The longer you take an opioid, the higher your risk is of becoming addicted.

Prescription opioids are the most commonly prescribed drug used to ease short-term pain after a surgery, accident, or illness. A doctor examines you before prescribing an opioid to determine if your body can tolerate the drug, dosage, and serious side effects.

Without the supervision of your doctor, you have no way of knowing if your body can tolerate an opioid medication.

Misuse of opioid drugs is a leading cause of accidental death in the United States, exceeding those from automobile accidents. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

The United States makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, yet, 99 percent of hydrocodone and 85 percent of oxycodone are consumed in the United States!

Some may say “this is Iowa, we don’t have a problem”! This happens in both small towns and big cities. In fact, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest rate of any age group for the non-medical use of prescription drugs and 12-17-year-olds aren’t far behind.

Protect yourself and family members from 0pioid addiction
• When a doctor prescribes an opioid for you ask for the least possible dose that you can get.
• Try substituting ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief.
• Keep track of how many pills you have.
• Keep opioid medications locked up to prevent misuse by others.
• Discard any unused opioids by taking them to the sherriff’s office or mixing them in wet coffee grounds or kitty litter before throwing them away.
• Take exactly as directed by your physician.
• Never take medication that is prescribed for another person.

Knowledge is power! Becoming educated on opioid misuse can save a life! For more information on opioid misuse please visit

New Opportunities Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention Departments offer information, education, and consultation services to schools, businesses and community based groups, many of which are free of charge. If you are interested in learning more on this or other substance abuse topics, please contact Nancy Rowedder, Prevention Consultant, at nrowedder [at] newopp [dot] org or call 712-792-9266.

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