Opioid Awareness

When used properly and under a doctor’s supervision, opioids are one effective way to manage pain in the short-term. However, long-term use can lead to misuse and physical dependency. 

12.5 million people age 12 and older misused opioids in the last year.

What are opioids?

An opioid is a strong prescription pain medication. Opioids also include illegal drugs, such as heroin.

Common names of prescription opioids:

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine (Tylenol #3, Tylenol #4)
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Methadone
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)

Reducing you and your loved ones’ risk of opioid misuse:

  • Remember that you are an important part of your medical team. Let your doctor or dentist know if you:
    • Have a history of depression or anxiety
    • Are currently taking any benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium, Xanax)
    • Have a  history of using or abusing alcohol, tobacco or drugs (including prescription or street drugs)
    • Have a history of long-term (chronic) pain
    • Have been taking opioids for longer than a week
    • Are taking more pills, more often, than your doctor prescribed
  • When taking opioids, remember:
    • Do not mix opioids with alcohol or other medications that can cause drowsiness.
    • As your pain gets better, wait longer between taking opioids.
    • Some possible side effects include nausea/vomiting, sleepiness/dizziness and/or constipation.
  • Protect your small children, teens and other family members by safely storing opioids out of reach.
    • Lock your pills if possible.
    • Try to keep a count of how many pills you have left. 
    • Do not store your opioids in places that allow easy access to your pills. (Example: bathrooms, kitchens)