Opioid painkillers can be very addictive – the chance of developing long-term dependence on opioids increases after just five days of prescription opioid use. Long-term dependence increases the risk for addiction and overdose.
Most people who misuse opioids report getting them from a family member or friend, with or without their knowledge. To help keep your family and friends safe from opioid misuse, learn how to properly dispose of your unused drugs and how to safely secure drugs still in use.
There are many things both patients and prescribers can do to reduce unnecessary opioid use and prevent opioid misuse.
Patients who are trying to manage pain can learn about alternatives to opioids, key questions to ask the doctor, what to expect from the doctor, and what to do if taking opioids.
Prescribers can review opioid prescribing guidelines, model practices for safe prescribing, the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, and presentations on improving patient safety.