Opioid Stewardship Program: Patients and the Public - What Can I Do?
Opioids are only one of the ways to manage chronic pain. Ask your health-care provider about different options for pain management such as non-opioid medications, physiotherapy, exercise, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, and more.
Take Your Medications As Prescribed
Don't use opioids more than what is prescribed for you. Don't take opioids with alcohol and some drugs such as benzodiazepines. Always seek advice from a health-care provider before starting opioids if you have stopped it for a while and start taking them again.
Don't share your opioid medications with anyone else. Store it securely in your home. Keep it away form your kids and animals. Return your unused opioids to a pharmacy for disposal. Don't flush the medications down a toilet or put them down a drain.
Ask About Take-Home Naloxone Kits
Opioid overdose is a medical emergency. Overdose can lead to slowing or stopping of breathing and sometimes death. Be aware of opioid overdose signs. Ask your health-care provider about Take-Home Naloxone Kits if you are at risk of an opioid overdose or might witness an opioid overdose.
Save a Life If Suspected Overdose
Stay at the scene and call 9-1-1. Give naloxone (nasal spray or injection) if you have. Don't leave until emergency arrives.
Did you know that the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act protects you from simple drug possession charges?
Use Stigma- Free Language
Stigma is negative attitudes, beliefs or behaviours about a group of people because of their situation in life. Stigma can discourage people with opioid use disorder from seeking help. You can avoid slang such as "addict". You can use language that shows care, rather than judgement.