Did you know that on average 115 Americans die every day from an opioid drug overdose? Over the past several years, the effects of opioid misuse, dependence, addiction, and overdose have had a profoundly negative impact on the lives of many Alabama residents. Those who suffer want to be free from opioid dependence and addiction; friends, family, and neighbors want to be equipped to support those who are suffering; and EMS technicians and physicians want to offer resources to patients that will help them get the treatment they need to recover.
The decision to take legally prescribed medication or to misuse medications or drugs is a decision a person makes on his or her own. But when someone becomes dependent on any substance, self-control plummets. Studies have shown that individuals dependent on drugs experience changes in their brains that greatly hinder decision making and behavior control. So, people may know they should stop using opioids, but they can’t bear the weight of that responsibility on their own. Their brains and bodies will do whatever necessary to obtain the substances they are dependent on. The Council on Substance Abuse-NCADD (COSA-NCADD) is here to help.
How to avoid opioid overdose:
- Take medications as prescribed by your physician and notify your doctor about any other medications you are taking.
- Do not take more medication than prescribed and do not take it more often than prescribed.
- Call your doctor if pain worsens.
- Never mix medications with alcohol, sleeping pills, or other substances.
- Learn the signs of opioid misuse and dependence.
- Dispose of unused medication properly.