Opioids can be addictive and can be abused. Being aware of these potential harms can help you prevent them.
Accidental overdoses can occur at any dose, even when taking an opioid medication as prescribed. Higher doses increase your risk of overdose.
Non-opioids such as muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines (also referred to as “benzos” such as diazepam or alprazolam), or sedatives (sleep aids such as Ambien® (zolpidem)) can cause central nervous system depression leading to extreme sleepiness, decreased breathing, coma and even death. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you take, both prescription and over-the-counter, to avoid any potential drug interactions or adverse side effects.
According to the 2018 NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey by the NM Department of Health, 6.9% of NM youth use painkillers to get high.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and their healthcare providers struggle with how to provide pain relief without the risk for dependence or addiction. Alternatives to pain medicine vary in how well they work, but range from relaxation and meditation or acupuncture and massage.