Sometimes children need medicine to greatly help with pain after surgery or an operation. Prescription opioid medicines are incredibly proficient at controlling pain. They work by blocking pain messages from reaching the brain.
There are risks to taking opioid pain medicines. They are able to cause serious unwanted effects and bring about dependence, addiction, and overdose. The misuse of medicines has contributed to the opioid crisis in the US. Hundreds of folks die from opioid overdoses each day, and millions are fighting addiction.
You might be worried that your child could become addicted or be at risk for an overdose. By reading the information below and following the opioid safety checklist, you can give your child opioid pain medicine as safely as possible.
Opioid Safety Checklist
Opioid pain medicines prescribed for children and teens include:
What Are the Risks of Opioid Pain Medicines?
Somebody who takes an opioid pain medicine for a couple of days might notice unwanted effects like sleepiness, constipation, itching, and stomach upset. When opioids are taken as directed, these unwanted effects could be inconvenient but aren’t dangerous.
If opioids are taken for longer, there are other risks, including:
Taking an excessive amount of an opioid or mixing it with other drugs and/or alcohol can bring about overdose and death.
Could My Child Become Dependent on Opioids?
Most kids and teens who take opioids for a short while as instructed by a physician don’t get addicted. For example, a teenager who has surgery or a broken bone and takes an opioid as approved is very unlikely to be addicted.
Why Do I have to SECURE the Opioids?
Sometimes persons take opioids approved for someone else. For instance, a teen usually takes a younger sibling’s medicine or someone usually takes a friend’s opioid to control pain, anxiety, or sleep issues. They might feel that prescription opioid medicines are safer than street drugs because healthcare providers prescribe them.
But prescription opioids can bring about serious unwanted effects, addiction, and overdose. Keeping the opioids locked up can help make certain they’re taken only by the individual they were approved for.
HOW DO YOU Safely Get rid of Unused Medicine?
Ask your medical provider or pharmacist how exactly to safely remove any unused medicine. They may recommend that you flush the medicine, mix it with coffee grounds and then throw it away, or take it to a drug take-back program. The FDA has more information.
How Can I Help Prevent Opioid Addiction in Our Family?
Talk to your kids about using medicines safely. Tell them that prescription pain medicines are safe only when prescribed by a health care provider and may be dangerous or addictive if used in any other way. Set a good example by never taking medicine that wasn’t recommended for you.
How Can I Get Help for Someone With a Substance Abuse Problem?
Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This free and confidential service is available in English and Spanish.
If you are looking for educational items to help bring awareness about prescription drug abuse, feel free to reach out to one of our sponsors Nimco, Inc.