Did you know that over 130 people die from opioid overdose in the U.S. each day? Cobb and Douglas Counties are not immune to this crisis, having seen a frightening spike of overdose deaths in the last several years.

Opioids are drugs used to dull the sensation of pain. They run the gamut from the illegal drug heroin to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl to pain relievers available by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine and morphine. Opioids produce a sense of wellbeing that can be additive and lead to accidental overdose, causing permanent organ damage or even death.

CDPH recommends following the guidelines below to help prevent opioid misuse and addiction:

  • Always follow the prescribed directions.
  • Never take more than the prescribed dose.
  • If you miss a dose, do not take a double dose to catch up.
  • Do not combine opioids with alcohol.
  • Do not combine opioids with other medications without your doctor’s approval.
  • Stop taking opioid medications as soon as your doctor agrees they are no longer needed.
  • Never use another person’s prescription or share your prescription with others.

In addition to the guidelines above, always remember:

  • Use opioid medication only in the form in which it was prescribed.
  • When taking liquid opioid doses, be sure to use an accurate measuring device and only measure out the prescribed amount.
  • Never drive a car or operate heavy machinery while taking opioids.

To learn more, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html