Opioids can be dangerous. Over the last decade, prescription pain medications have been responsible for more drug deaths in Utah than all other drugs combined. You should always follow the instructions and use them only as directed. Practice safe use and safe storage. Here are some tips for safe opioid use:
- Only take opioids prescribed to you.
- Never share your prescription opioids.
- Never take your opioids more often or in higher doses than prescribed or directed.
- Keep a list of all medicines and supplements you take and share all of them with your doctors or pharmacist. Also share allergies you have, if you’re pregnant and any conditions you have.
- Ask your doctor how your medicine will interact with other medicine and alcohol. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter meds.
- Know the common risks and side effects associated with opioids. Call you doctor if a side effect is unexpected.
- Taking prescription or over-the-counter medications with depressants such as sleep aids, anti-anxiety medications, or cold medicine can be dangerous.
- Don’t change your dosage on your own. If you’re taking opioids and feel like you need to change something, immediately contact your medical provider or pharmacist
- Properly dispose of all unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFE USE OF OPIOIDS, CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST, OR UTAH POISON CONTROL AT 1-800-222-1222.
- Store opioids out of reach of kids, family, pets and guests, preferably in a locked place.
- Know where your opioids are at all times. Young children may think they’re candy or take them by mistake.
- Keep track of the number of pills that are in your prescription so you are immediately aware if any are missing.
- Approximately 7,600 students in Utah have used prescription opioids non-medically in the past 30 days. That’s three times the size of the largest high school in Utah.
Leftover opioids can tempt some teens to try them to get “high” or to experiment.
- Keep opioids in the original container with the label attached and the child-resistant cap secured.
- Store opioids as directed—usually in a cool, dry place. Avoid the kitchen and bathroom, where it can be hot and humid.
- Do not combine medications into one bottle.
GET HELP NOW
Utah has many treatment resources available for overcoming dependence and addiction to pain medications. To be directed to local services or treatment centers, call 2-1-1.
Addiction is not the only risk of using opioids. To learn more, click here. To learn more about naloxone, the antidote that reverses an opioid overdose, visit PrescribeToPrevent.org or to get a free naloxone kit, see UtahNaloxone.org.
The Benefits of Naloxone
More than 10 Utahns die every week from an opioid-related overdose. The risks of opioids area real, which is why having access to Naloxone can save lives.
Naloxone is an antidote that can reverse or stop an opioid overdose.
It should be used in combination with emergency care.
Get a Naloxone kit at your local pharmacy. Naloxone rescue kits are available without prescription and should be a part of your home’s first aid kit. Use the pharmacy finder tool at UtahNaloxone.org. You can learn more at PrescribeToPrevent.org.