Change text size: A | A | A

Print This Page

Partners for
Opioid Safety

Opioids911-Safety is
recommended by...

American Academy of
Pain Management

American Association
for the Treatment of
Opioid Dependence

American Chronic Pain

ACA Logo
American College of

American Society for
Pain Management

National Association
of Drug Diversion

NFP Logo
National Family

National Fibromyalgia
& Chronic Pain

NFA Logo
National Fibromyalgia

Project Lazarus
Project Lazarus

Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophy Syndrome

FPN Logo
The Foundation for
Peripheral Neuropathy

TNA Logo
TNA-The Facial Pain

US Pain Foundation
U.S. Pain Foundation

Click logos or here for
more information.


We comply with the
HONcode Standard
for trustworthy health
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
Verify Here

WMA Certified
Web Mèdica Acreditada Certified. Click to verify.
Verify Here

Opioids911-Safety has been independently developed with support provided in part by educational grants from...

Purdue Pharma L.P.

Purdue Pharma

Click logos or here for
more information.

Opioids911-Safety (Opioids911.org) is an independent, noncommercial, Internet-based educational activity from Pain Treatment Topics for patients and their caregivers focusing on the proper and safe use of opioid pain relievers. Our mission is to provide an understanding of opioid analgesics and their various risks, and to suggest specific actions for preventing opioid-related problems, including: misuse, abuse, addiction, withdrawal, diversion, adverse reactions, overmedication, and life-threatening overdose. Instruction is provided on recognizing opioid problems if they do occur and on being prepared for what to do during an emergency.

If you think you have an opioid emergency, <click here>.


Why is opioid safety so important?

rx opioidsOpioids (oh'-pee-oyds) are effective pain relievers. Sometimes these drugs are called "narcotics". However, "opioids" is the correct term for pain-relieving medicines that come from the opium poppy plant, such as codeine and morphine. Some opioids are made from chemicals that act like opium, such as oxycodone and others.

There are various kinds of opioid medicines prescribed for different types of pain. All of these work best only when used properly and safely, exactly as directed by your healthcare provider; either the opioid prescriber or pharmacist.

Who is an opioid prescriber? Most physicians (MDs or DOs) and dentists may prescribe opioids for pain relief. In many states, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certain pharmacists also may prescribe opioid pain relievers.

As with other strong medicines, there are certain risks with opioids. Every year some patients and other persons, including children, are seriously harmed or die from opioid pain relievers.

The Opioids911.org website will help you to learn about and take more responsibility for opioid safety. Helpful information provides an understanding of what opioid medicines are and their risks, including side effects, abuse or addiction, and serious overdose. You also can learn how to reduce opioid risks, how to recognize problems if they do occur, and what to do in an emergency.


REMEMBER: Opioid Safety Needs YOU!

8 Very Important Safety Tips

  • Never take an opioid pain reliever unless it is prescribed for you.
  • Always take opioids as directed. Do not take more opioid or take it more often than is prescribed for you.
  • Do not use opioids with alcohol or other drugs unless approved by your prescriber.
  • Never break, chew, crush, dissolve, or inject your opioid medicine. If you cannot swallow it whole, talk to your prescriber.
  • Protect and lock up your opioids in a safe place at all times, and properly dispose of leftover medicine.
  • Never share opioids with another person, it is illegal and very dangerous.
  • Be prepared for opioid emergencies. Know signs of trouble and what to do.
  • Always read instructions that come with your opioid prescription. Contact your prescriber or pharmacist with any questions.


Click on the topic section or question of interest below...

1. What are opioids?

2. What are safety concerns with opioids?

3. How can I prevent problems with opioids?

4. What should be done in an emergency?

5. Frequently Asked Questions about opioid safety.