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Opioid Fact Sheet: Know the Risks

From the City of Milwaukee Health Department
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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)
  • Pregnancy

Opioid Fact Sheet - All content as listed above