Opioid Fact Sheet: Know the Risks
From the City of Milwaukee Health Department
Visit Milwaukee.gov/opioids to learn more!
Prescription opioids are used to block pain signals between the brain and body and are often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, typically following a surgery or injury, or for certain health conditions. Some of the common names include Percocet (oxycodone with acetaminophen); OxyContin (oxycodone); and Vicodin (hydrocodone with acetaminophen).
Prescription Opioids carry serious risks of addiction, overdose, and death, especially with prolonged use!
- Opioids block the feeling of pain from the brain;
It doesn't treat the underlying cause of pain.
- Opioids increase your chance of accidental overdose and death especially if mixed with alcohol or other drugs.
- There are effective non-opioid options available for relieving short-term pain, talk with your healthcare provider to learn more.
Proper Dosage: Opioids should only be taken as directed. Misuse and abuse of opioids can be illegal, extremely harmful, and even deadly.
- Never share prescription opioids with anyone.
- Store any medications out of reach of children: one dose can cause an accidental overdose.
- Do not increase the dosage or take it more often than prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Risks are greater with:
- History of drug misuse, substance use disorder, or overdose
- Mental health conditions
- Sleep apnea
- Older age (65 and older)