If you’re taking opioids /

you have a responsibility.

Reduce Overdose Risk

If you are prescribed an opioid, you have entered into a partnership with your prescriber and have certain responsibilities that will help keep you safe and reduce your risk for addiction or overdose.

Help keep yourself safe

  • Work with your doctor to create a plan on how to manage your pain.
  • Know your options and considering ways to manage your pain that do not include opioids.
  • Understand any side effects and concerns.
  • Ask how long you will need to take opioids and the plan for stopping.
  • Follow up regularly with your doctor.
  • Never take opioids in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.
  • Never take opioids with alcohol and other medications such as
    • Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax® and Valium®)
    • Muscle relaxants (such as Soma® or Flexeril®)
    • Hypnotics (such as Ambien® or Lunesta®)
    • Other prescription opioids

Help keep your family and community safe

  • Never sell or share prescription opioids.
  • Store prescription opioids in safe place, out of reach of children, family, friends, and visitors.
  • Dispose of unused opioids responsibly. Visit FDA.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou for complete guidelines.
  • Visit Drug Take Back page.

Be aware of serious side effects and risks

The longer you take an opioid, the more your body gets used to it and the more you will need to take in order to get the same relief. Higher doses can cause serious side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Not being able to urinate enough
  • Breathing problems, which can be deadly
  • Confusion and mental disturbance

Click here for more information on Warning Signs.

Keep your Eyes Open for the warning signs of addiction

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