Talking to Your Doctor

What You Can Do to Prevent Opioid Misuse

Some people might think prescription opioids are safer than alcohol or illegal drugs, but they can carry risks and side effects. Talk with your doctor about your concerns and make informed decisions about pain management together. Prescription opioids are one of the many options for reducing severe pain. Ask your doctor these questions to fully understand both the benefits and risks of prescription opioids.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What are the common side effects of opioids?
  • What can I do to reduce the risks or intensity of side effects?
  • What increases my risk of overdose or death from this medication?
  • How long will I need to take prescription opioids?
  • How should I store my medication? What about unused medication?
  • What are the signs of opioid overdose?

Work with Your Doctor

  • Create a plan on how to manage your pain.
  • Know your options. Learn ways to manage your pain that do not include opioids.
  • Talk about side effects.
  • Follow up regularly.
  • Store all medications properly.



To Learn More


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