Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and many others. (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
While opioids can be a great tool when used as prescribed, they can cause devastating damage when used incorrectly.
Improper use of medications can be very dangerous. Be sure you use all medications safely and effectively.
- Be informed, ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have
- Inform your doctor of all other medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking
- Take all medications as prescribed, never take more than directed
- Read and follow all directions and information
- Never share your medication or take someone else’s medication
- Keep a list of all medications you take
- Use one pharmacy
- Pay attention to expiration dates
- Make sure you are taking the correct medication by never taking medications in the dark
- Why do I need this medication? Is it right for me?
- How long should I take this medication?
- How can I reduce the potential side effects?
- What if I have a history of addiction?
- What about the other medications I’m taking?
- How should I store my opioid medicine?
- What should I do with unused opioid medicine?
- Can I have an Rx for Naloxone?