Pain is the number one reason for why people visit the doctor, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says.
Opioids are often used to treat pain, but they are highly addictive. Every day, more than 100 Americans die from an opioid overdose, the agency says.
The NIH offers these suggestions:
- Ask your doctor about opioid alternatives to relieve your pain.
- Make sure your health care provider knows about all other medications you are taking.
- Let your health care provider know if you or others in your family have had any problems with addiction.
- Ask your doctor how to take an opioid and how long you should take it.
- Never use alcohol while taking an opioid.
- Store opioids in a safe place out reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Dispose of leftover prescription medicine quickly and properly.
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