Tips for safe use of opioids

New Opportunities provides the following information to promote  safe use of opioids.

Have you or a loved one been prescribed medication to assist with pain management? If so you may be taking a medication that is classified as an opioid. Opioids are medications that reduce the feelings of pain by attaching to pain receptors in the body. The drawback to this type of medication is that they can be extremely addictive for some people.

Sometimes there is a need for these medications and no other alternative is available. Other times there may be another alternative treatment available. Here are some questions to consider if your doctor suggests an opioid medication for you.
• Do I really need this medication?
• Are there any alternatives medications or treatments that I could try instead of an opioid medication?
• What are the risks of misusing this medication?
• Are there any side effects to this type of medication?
• Do I really need this large of a prescription for this type of medication?
• Can I substitute an over the counter pain reliever instead?

If  you do need this type of medication, there are some steps you can take to safeguard these medications in your home.
• Keep unused medications locked up.
• Store medications away from a water source.
• Supervise dispensing of medication.
• Communicate to other members of the household that the medication is not to be shared.
• Dispose of any unused medication by taking to a drug take back event or drop box at your local sheriff’s office, pharmacy, or hospital.
• Mix unused medications with wet coffee grounds or used kitty litter, bag it up and throw it in the trash.

Please help to keep people safe! Practice opioid safety if you or a loved one is prescribed this type of medication!

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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