Safe Opioid Use

Older couple imageIf a medical professional prescribes you pain medication or any other type of medication, engage them in conversation to learn more about the medication and its effects.

Some questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist include:

  • Why am I being prescribed this medication?
  • How much of this medication do I take and for how long?
  • How will this interact with my other medications?
  • What are the side effects?
  • What are my other options for managing my pain?

Opioid and prescription medication misuse includes a variety of behaviors:

  • Taking a medication prescribed to you more often than prescribed by a doctor.
  • Taking a medication prescribed to you in a different dose than prescribed by a doctor.
  • Taking a medication prescribed for someone else.
  • Taking a pain medication to feel a high.

Other medication safety tips:

  • Keep a detailed list of all current medications including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins and supplements. Share this list with your doctors and pharmacist.
  • Never share your prescription medications with friends or family.
  • Talk openly and honestly with teens and young adults in your life about safe use of prescription medications, especially opioids.
  • Keep medications locked away to prevent them from getting in the hands of children, adolescents, guests and anyone else who may enter your home.
  • Safely dispose of your medications as soon as they are no longer needed.