Opioid Use and Misuse


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Opioid abuse, addiction and overdose can be avoided through information and education. Test your understanding by taking this quiz. Share your results with friends so they can test their knowledge too.

Who is at risk?

Anyone of any age who uses opioid medications to manage pain, particularly those taking higher doses.
Anyone who takes opioids with multiple prescriptions or other sedating substances, including alcohol, anti-anxiety, sleeping aids or muscle relaxants.
Household members of people who are in possession of opioids, including prescription opioids.
Anyone who uses heroin or injects pain medications.
People with reduced tolerance following detox or release from incarceration.
Someone who has had a previous non-fatal overdose.
Opioid doses greater than 90 mg of morphine per day or 60 mg of oxycodone per day.
Obtaining overlapping prescriptions from multiple providers and pharmacies.
All of the above

Opioids can be addictive. Addiction is a disease that results when the opioid has made changes to the brain. A person using medication properly is not likely to get addicted, but this sometimes happens. Addiction usually occurs through misuse. Some people are at higher risk of addiction because of their genes, temperament, or personal situation. The myth is that only certain people misuse or abuse drugs, but opioids do not discriminate or stereotype. Only certain people misuse or abuse drugs

Which of the following drugs killed the most New Mexicans from 2012-2016?

Prescription painkillers
Benzos (tranquilizers)

Prescription opioids account for 49% of unintentional overdose deaths in New Mexico. Heroin accounts for 33%, benzodiazepines accounts for 25%, and methamphetamine 21%, and cocaine 13%.

Which of the following are examples of prescribed opioid medications?

Hydrocodone—Vicodin®, Lortab®, or Lorcet®
Oxycodone—Percocet®, OxyContin®, or Percodan®
Morphine—MSContin®, MSIR®, Avinza®, or Kadian®
Propoxyphene—Darvocet® or Darvon®
All of the above

Doctors prescribe opioid medication to treat pain and sometimes for other health problems such as severe coughing. These medications come in a pill, a liquid, skin patch or a wafer form. Only take medications as prescribed, keep track of your medications and do not share them with anyone, including family members.

Which of the following medically assisted treatments are considered the gold standard for treating opioid use?

All of the above

Medication-assisted treatment includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Treatment that includes medication is often the best choice for opioid addiction. The most common medications used in treatment are methadone and buprenorphine, which reduces cravings by tricking the brain into thinking it is still getting the problem opioid. The person taking the medication feels normal, not high, and withdrawal does not occur. Sometimes, naltrexone, is used to block the effect of opioid drugs and cannot be taken until opioids are completely out of the body.

What is prescription painkiller medication misuse?

Using someone else's medication
Taking more of a prescription than what's prescribed
Taking a medication for use other than treatment, i.e. to feel "high"
All of the above

The reality is that prescription medications should only be taken by you and as directed by your medical provider. Note: All opioids require a prescription by a licensed provider, and prescription medications should never be shared with others.

Are accidental opioid deaths preventable?