Prevention begins with awareness. And action.
No one expects to become addicted.
It can start with a legally prescribed painkiller after a medical procedure. Maybe it’s a teenager stealing her grandparent’s prescription medications to get high with her friends. As the disease progresses, the person with the opioid use disorder will seek out other ways to relieve his or her pain, whether that’s codeine, oxycodone or heroin.
Get help early
According to the National Safety Council, “Identification and intervention can prevent people who abuse opioids from becoming addicted, and treating those already addicted can be very successful.”
Once addiction has developed, the brain has suffered chemical and structural changes that make logical reasoning difficult. For that reason, it is ideal to identify and treat problems before the addiction stage.
This is called early intervention.
What is an LCC?
Each county in Indiana has a Local Coordinating Council (LCC), which is the planning and coordinating body for addressing alcohol and other drug problems. LCC members include volunteers from a variety of organizations including education, treatment, social services, and local police.
Want to get involved? Contact your county LCC to see how you can help fight the epidemic in your community.
Resources for Prevention Efforts
Promoting mental health plays a big role in preventing substance abuse. Here are some resources for positive prevention efforts.
Safely prescribing and administering prescription opioids.
According to the CDC, “Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these drugs.”
To learn more, please refer to the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. It provides recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. You can also view a Physician’s Toolkit here.
Parents play an important role in preventing prescription opioid misuse and abuse.
It’s critically important to educate your children on the dangers of prescription opioids.
Monitor their use of opioids if they have been prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner.
Make your prescription opioids inaccessible by following the safe storage and disposal guidelines below.
Most importantly, don’t fall into the myth that “it can’t happen to MY child.”
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medicine you have been prescribed has the potential for abuse.
Keep medicine in a cool, dry place, out of the reach of children.
Lock up any medicine that is at risk for being abused in a cabinet, drawer, or medicine safe.
Always store medicine in its original container — the label on the bottle provides important information about the medicine.
Don’t store medicine in a bathroom medicine cabinet where humidity and temperature changes can cause damage.
Don’t share prescription medicine. A medicine that works for one person may cause harm — even death — to someone else, even if symptoms are similar.
Disposing of medications
The state of Indiana provides take-back days, as well as guidance to consumers on how to properly dispose of unneeded medications.