Your Better Health Center - How to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe when Using Pain Medication

How to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe when Using Pain Medication

Find the best treatment plan for you.

There are different types of medicine and treatments that can help control pain. Ice, heat, and exercise can be helpful. Medicines that you can find at a drugstore, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can also help with pain. Make sure to talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you. 

To keep you and your loved ones safe when using pain medication:

Take all medications correctly.

  • Read the label on your medicine bottle and follow the instructions carefully. 
  • Do not take prescriptions meant for others.
  • Do not share your prescriptions with anyone else.
  • Do not mix with alcohol, sleep-aids, or anti-anxiety medication.
  • Do not store medicine where children, pets, or others can get it.

Get rid of old medicine safely.

Throw away unused medicine when your treatment is done.

  • National Prescription Drug Take Back Day happens in April and October. It provides a safe way to get rid of prescription drugs. Visit for details.
  • You can safely leave unused medication at collection sites. Pharmacies, hospitals, or police stations may have drop boxes or mail-back programs. Find a collection site near you.

Prepare for an emergency.

Naloxone is a nasal spray or shot that is used for an opioid overdose. It helps get breathing back to normal. Read all instructions before using it. Talk to your doctor about this life-saving medication – for yourself or a loved one who is at risk of an opioid overdose.

Additional support 

Chat rooms, such as the Lifeline Crisis Chat and Healthful Chat, allow you to connect with other people who may share your struggles.

We’re here to help with additional tools and local resources. Please contact us by calling the nurse advice line on the back of your ID card.

Take charge of your health! Schedule your yearly lab work today.




CDC Prescription Opioids: What you need to know  (PDF)

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