Opioid Treatment Plan
HOW TO GET HELP FOR OPIOID MISUSE
Opioids are powerful medications. If not used the right way, they can cause addiction, overdose, or death. You can get safe support through Sandhills Center's Opioid Misuse Prevention and Treatment Program.
We want to help you. Call Member & Recipient Services: 1-800-256-2452 (TTY: 1-866-518-6778)
WHAT ARE OPIOIDS?
Doctors prescribe opioids to help manage pain after surgeries, injuries, cancer treatment and for other health reasons. For many years, there has been an increase in the use of opioids. Opioids can take away pain, making you feel relaxed and happy. But, they also can have harmful effects. If misused, opioids can cause a person to become addicted. Taking too many opioids can stop your breathing and lead to death.
- Prescription drugs -- such as oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan, OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab), pethidine (Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), fentanyl (Duragesic), Tylenol with Codeine, and morphine.
- Other drugs -- medications used to treat addiction to opioids, such as methadone (Dolophine), buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex).
- Illegal drugs -- such as heroin or any pain medication that is not your own.
SIDE EFFECTS CAN LOOK LIKE THIS:
- You may develop a tolerance – you may need more for pain relief than what is prescribed.
- You become physically dependent. That means you have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking opioids.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Sweating and itching.
- Dizziness and sleepiness.
It can be hard to live with pain. Many people think opioids are the only option for dealing with it. If your pain is extreme or lasts a long time, there may be other options:
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) -- Has proven to be just as good at helping to get relief from pain. Ask your doctor about the best dose to take based on your needs.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is a treatment that can help improve your thinking and behavior patterns.
- Exercise – Try yoga or Tai Chi. It can help lower feelings of anxiety or stress.
- Mindfulness meditation -- can help calm your mind to lower pain levels.
- Acupuncture – This is a holistic (natural) pain relief method.
WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Opioids are not safe for everyone. Before you start taking opioids, here are some tips:
- Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and any other concerns.
- Learn the risks and benefits of pain management and the right treatment for you.
- Ask your doctor about other ways to manage your pain.
- Contact Sandhills Center Member & Recipient Services: 1-800-256-2452 (TTY 1-866-518-6778). We can answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
WAYS TO BE SAFE
An overdose can happen when you take too much medication. You could get very sick or worse. To avoid an overdose, do not use opioids at all. If you are using opioids:
- Know how much you are taking. If you do not know, then you should call Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222.
- Take only what is prescribed by your doctor.
- NEVER share your medication.
- NEVER take pain medication that you got from your friends, family, or others.
- Get Narcan (naloxone). Make sure friends and family know how to use it. Narcan is a drug that can reverse the negative effects of opioids. You can get Narcan at many pharmacies. You do not need a prescription for it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how you can get Narcan, or call Sandhills Center Member & Recipient Services: 1-800-256-2452 (TTY: 1-866-518-6778).
- NEVER use more than your doctor has prescribed.
- NEVER mix your pain medication with other prescription drugs, alcohol, muscle relaxers, or sleep medicines.
- Always tell your doctor if you have side effects from taking opioids. Also, tell your doctor if you feel like you need to take more than what is prescribed.
- If you have leftover medication, call your pharmacy to return it. You can also flush it down the toilet.
- If you need more pain medication than what was prescribed, this may be a sign that you are addicted. Talk to your doctor right away.
WAYS TO GET TREATMENT
Some options that are available to you:
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) -- This may include medication, counseling and behavior therapy.
- Mediation-Assisted Recovery Anonymous (MARA) -- A recovery group for people who misuse medications, drugs or alcohol. Find a support group in your area -- MARA support.
- Counseling -- This can help you learn ways to understand triggers. Counseling can help you learn ways to reduce cravings, accept your past and build relationships with others.
- Recovery -- The way you choose to live your life through changes so you can get better and stay well.
- Peer Support – A non-clinical way to help support you so you can make changes to recover.
Need help finding substance use treatment or support in your area? Call Member & Recipient Services: 1-800-256-2452 (TTY: 1-866-518-6778).
- Prescription Opioids | CDC's Response to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic
- CDC Naloxone 101 - NC Harm Reduction Coalition (nchrc.org)
- From the CDC: Opioid Treatment
- Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)