A THREE PART SOLUTION

Speak Out

Talk to your doctor about the risk of addiction

Have the Opioid Talk

The most important talk about opioids is the one you should have with your own doctor or dentist. Don’t just listen—have a conversation, and take a more active role in your health care. 

Start by asking your doctor or dentist more questions when they prescribe painkillers. Before you take an opioid, ask these five questions.

  1. Am I at risk for addiction?
  2. Will something else work?
  3. How long will I be taking them?
  4. Are you prescribing the lowest possible dose?
  5. What’s the plan to taper me off?

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CARE

Learn the benefits and dangers of opioids. Ask questions. Take control of your care. The longer you take opioids, the higher the chance for addiction. And overdose. Or even death. It’s a problem we can’t ignore any longer.

After talking to your health care provider, you might decide that the benefits outweigh the risks of opioid treatment. Remember, you don’t have to fill your entire prescription at once. You can ask your pharmacist to partially fill your prescription. If you need the rest later, you can get it. Your doctor or dentist don’t want to see you become addicted, but many of them are not trained in addiction or pain management.

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

We support prevention coalitions and partners throughout our fourteen county network.  They are dedicated to many prevention coalitions throughout the state dedicated to providing information and resources and who also coordinate volunteer efforts in local communities to help prevent opioid addiction.

To reduce the stigma associated with opioid use disorder, talk about addiction being a disease and encourage people to seek help.

OPIOID ADDICTION IS A DISEASE

Addiction can happen to anyone. Prescription opioids are just as addictive as heroin. That’s why most opioid addiction begins with a legal prescription and can happen in as little as seven days. Addiction is more than a serious medical condition. It’s a disease. The drugs change the brain itself, which is why it’s considered a brain disease. They change its structure and how it works. Such changes can be long lasting and lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors.

Another name for addiction is opioid use disorder. It’s a chronic, relapsing brain disease with symptoms that include compulsive seeking and use of the drug, despite harmful consequences.

While the initial decision to use drugs is mostly voluntary, addiction can take over and impair a person’s ability to use self-control.

Brain-imaging studies from people addicted to drugs show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical for judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control. Scientists believe these changes affect the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of someone with substance use disorder.

OPT OUT

Ask for alternatives to opioids.

Ask for Alternatives

Talk to your doctor or dentist and ask about safer alternatives to opioids. These alternative treatment options can actually work better than opioids and have fewer risks and side effects. You can also avoid addiction. Most people struggling with addiction received their first opioid prescription after a surgery or to treat a short-term injury. Don’t risk it. Ask for alternatives to opioids.

  1. A combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®)
  2. Naproxen (Aleve®)
  3. Physical Therapy
  4. Exercise
  5. Certain medications that are also used for depression or seizures
  6. Interventional therapies (injections)
  7. Cognitive behavioral therapy

CHANGING THE EXPECTATION

It’s time for  Florida to re-think it’s approach to opioids. Talk to your doctor about treatment options before you consider taking opioids. For most people, alternative therapies are the better, safer choice. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends opioids be reserved for cancer and end-of-life care.

It is important to talk to your doctor about alternatives to opioids for managing their pain. Before starting any pain therapy, have a conversation with your doctor about treatment milestones, including attainable goals for pain and function. Oftentimes, being 100 percent pain-free is not a realistic goal.

THROW OUT

Safely dispose of your leftover or expired meds.

Get Rid of Expired and Unused Meds

There is no such thing as safe leftovers. Most people with an opioid addiction get them from a friend or family member. Don’t leave expired or unused meds lying around. Safely dispose of your prescriptions properly in a pharmacy drop box. The proper disposal of opioid prescriptions lessens the chance of someone getting addicted. It also decreases the chance of dependence and accidents. Do your part to keep opioids in safe hands.

USE A LOCAL RX DROP BOX

Safely dispose of your leftover or expired opioids by using a medication drop box. These permanent community collection sites are free and can be found at law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies across the state.

HOME DISPOSAL

Proper disposal is good for everyone. Think before you flush — don’t risk contaminating the groundwater or fish. We have drop boxes in many counties. If you do not have access to drop boxes or take back events is limited in your area, you can also follow the steps below to dispose of opioids in your household trash.

  • Mix medications (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with items such as kitty litter, a soiled diaper or used coffee grounds; prior to putting in the trash, place the mixture in a sealed device (e.g., plastic bag).
  • Remove or scratch out all information on the prescription label before throwing out your empty pill bottle or other empty medication packaging.
  • If you are still unsure of proper disposal options, call your local poison Control Center.
Drop Box Locator

Choose by County

Drug Free Charlotte

1445 Education Way, Port Charlotte, FL 33948

(941) 255.0808

www.drugfreecharlottecounty.org

David Lawrence Center

2806 South Horseshoe Drive, Naples, FL 34104

(239) 455.8500

davidlawrencecenter.org/treatment-programs/prevention-programs


Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

hanleyfoundation.org/prevention

First Step of Sarasota

1750 17th St. Bldg 1-2, Sarasota, FL 34234

(863) 494.1324

www.fsos.org/treatment-prevention-programs/prevention-programs


Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw., #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

hanleyfoundation.org/prevention/

InnerAct Alliance

621 S Florida Ave. S, Lakeland, FL 33801

(863) 802.0777

www.inneractalliance.org


Tri-County Human Services

115 K D Revell Rd., Wauchula, FL 33873

(863) 773.2226

www.tchsonline.org

Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw. #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

anleyfoundation.org/prevention

Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw., #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

hanleyfoundation.org/prevention

Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw. #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

anleyfoundation.org/prevention


InnerAct Alliance

621 S Florida Ave. S, Lakeland, FL 33801

(863) 802.0777

www.inneractalliance.org

Agency for Community Treatment Services (ACTS)

8605 N Branch Ave., Tampa, FL 33604

(813) 936.9099

www.actsfl.org


C.E. Mendez Foundation

600 N Willow Ave Ste 301, Tampa, FL 33606

(813) 251.3600

mendezfoundation.org/our-partners


Gulf Coast Jewish and Family Services

225 W Busch Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612

(813) 930.7114

gulfcoastjewishfamilyandcommunityservices.org/community-services/

Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw. #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

anleyfoundation.org/prevention


Drug Free Manatee

1112 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton FL 34205

(941) 749.3030

www.drugfreemanatee.org


Hanley Center Foundation

700 S Dixie Hyw #103, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

(561) 268.2355

hanleyfoundation.org/prevention

Baycare

7809 Massachusettes Ave., New Port Richey, FL 34653

(727) 315.8644

baycare.org/services/behavioral-health


Gulf Coast Jewish and Family Services

14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760

(727) 479.1800

gulfcoastjewishfamilyandcommunityservices.org/community-services


Youth and Family Alternatives (YFA)

7524 Plathe Rd., New Port Richey, FL 34653

(727) 835.4166

www.yfainc.org/prevention

Gulf Coast Jewish and Family Services

14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760

(727) 479.1800

gulfcoastjewishfamilyandcommunityservices.org/community-services


Operation PAR

1900 9th St. S, St Petersburg, FL 33705

(727) 550.4241

www.operationpar.org/services/prevention


WestCare

8800 49th St. N, Ste 402, Pinellas Park, FL 33782

(727) 914.9030

westcare.com/page/what-we-do_03a

Agency for Community Treatment Services (ACTS)

1090 Highway 17 S, Bartow, FL 33830

(863) 519.3655

www.actsfl.org


InnerAct Alliance

621 S Florida Ave S., Lakeland, FL 33801

(863) 519.3655

www.inneractalliance.org/


Tri-County Human Services

1815 N Crystal Lake Dr., Lakeland, FL 33801

(863) 709.9392

www.tchsonline.org

First Step of Sarasota

4579 Northgate Ct., Sarasota, FL 34234

(941) 366.5333

www.fsos.org/treatment-prevention-programs/prevention-programs

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