Four Steps for Using Prescription Pain Medications Safely

White prescription pills on a table near an open bottle. Other medicine bottles in the background.

Prescription pain medications (opioids) are powerful drugs. They can be effective if they’re used safely, but if they’tedly, despite the harm they cause to the person’s life.re misused, a person can become addicted to them. Addiction occurs when a person continues to take drugs or alcohol repea

Prescription pain medications can also cause nausea (feeling sick toath. the stomach), slow down a person’s breatng,hi and event sop the breathing completely, leading to de

Follow these four important steps to help you and your family stay safe when it comes to prescription opioids:

  • If a doctor or dentist prescribes a pain medication for you or someone in your family, ask if the medication contains an opioid. Talk about the risks, and consider asking if there are different treatments that could work.
  • pioid is prescribed for someone in your family who has a history of drug use, addiction, or mental illness, tell the doctor or dentist immeIf an odiately. Any of these factors can increase a person’s risk for opioid addiction.
  • Take opioids exactly the way they were prescribed, and never use them for any other reason. Never share medications with anyo else.ne
  • If you have leftover pills, get rid of them safely. Learn the steps to do that and discover programs in your area that t baakeck unused medications.
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