Safer Use

While medicine and research have provided medications to ease suffering and pain and improve the quality of life for individuals, the potential for abuse, diversion, morbidity, and mortality has risen significantly. When not taken as prescribed, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs.

Prescription Pain Medications

  • Read any instructions you are given regarding your prescription drugs.
  • Only take medication prescribed to you.
  • Follow the doctor’s advice regarding your prescription.
  • Never take more than the prescribed amount.
  • Talk with your doctor regarding any tolerance you may have built up to your prescription.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.
  • Keep all pain medications in a safe place to avoid theft and access to children.
  • Keep medicines in their original labeled containers.
  • Never drink alcohol while taking medication.
  • Call 211 for help finding treatment referrals.
  • Put the Poison Control Center number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and cell phone for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access.

In addition

In addition, educate yourself and family about the signs and symptoms of overdose, and see the list of frequently asked questions included as part of this website.  You can also learn about recent state law allowing for the use of naloxone as a rescue medication for persons showing certain signs of opioid overdose.