Information for adults and families
Prescription opioids are medicines used to help relieve
severe pain. They are often prescribed after a surgery or
injury or for certain health problems. Some common
opioid medicines are codeine, hydrocodone, methadone,
morphine, and oxycodone.
These medicines can be an important part of treatment.
They also come with serious risks. It’s important to work
with your healthcare provider to make sure you are getting
the safest, most effective care.
Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your
pain without opioids. Other methods may actually work
better and have fewer risks and side effects. Options may
include the following:
The biggest risks of prescription opioids are addiction
and overdose. Risks are higher when you use them for a
longer time. An opioid overdose can cause slowed breathing
and sudden death.
Prescription opioids can have serious side effects, even
when taken as directed. These may include the following:
Find your community drug take-back program or
your pharmacy mail-back program.
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