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  • Get the Facts

  • Appropriate Use

It is important to get your “Dose of Reality” about the risks and dangers of using prescription painkillers, as well as the signs of misuse, before it becomes a problem for you or your loved ones.

Always Follow Safe Medication Use Tips

  • Do not share your prescription painkillers or other medications with anyone.
  • Do not take someone else’s prescription medication.
  • Store your prescription painkillers and other medications securely.
  • Safely dispose of expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medications.

When Picking up a Prescription

  • Read and examine the label.
    • Count the number of pills in the bottle and be sure it matches the amount indicated on the label.
    • If the label describes what the pills should look like, make sure what is in the bottle matches. If not, tell the pharmacist.
  • When picking up a refill, examine the pills to be sure they look the same as the last batch.
  • If there are questions about the ingredients, warnings, directions, or anything else having to do with the prescription, ask the pharmacist.

When Taking Medication at Home

  • Take medications only for as long as they’re needed, and never more than directed by the prescribing medical professional.
  • Always double check the label to be sure the correct pill is being taken.
  • Do not crush pills unless instructed to do so by the doctor or pharmacist.

If Something Goes Wrong

  • If you take too large of a dose and are experiencing the signs of overdose, administer naloxone if you have it and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If you are not experiencing an overdose, but accidentally took the wrong, or too much, medication, call the poison control center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
  • If you or someone you know has an adverse reaction to a new prescription, call your doctor immediately.
  • If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

Learn more about Naloxone, a Food and Drug Administration approved medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose while you wait for emergency medical help to arrive.