Opioids are a type of pain medicine. They can help people manage illness, injury or surgery. Providers prescribe opioids to reduce pain signals to the brain. All these are opioids:
- Heroin—an illegal kind of opioid
Opioids are highly addictive.
Taking opioids without a medical reason or overusing them can cause addiction--fast. In fact, opioid addiction is an epidemic in the U.S. Every day, about 91 Americans die from opioid overdose, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
Taking too many doses of opioids can have dangerous results.
If your provider prescribes an opioid medication, take it only as directed. Taking more than your provider has prescribed can result in:
- Weak breathing
- Blocked pain signals
- Mental confusion
- Organ damage
- Death—Opioids are so strong, even one large dose can kill you.
How do know if you’re depending too much on opioids?
Watch for these signs:
- You keep raising the dose to control pain
- When you use less medicine or quit, you get symptoms of withdrawal like stomach cramps, muscle aches or cold sweats
What are the signs of abuse?
- Using your medicine with other drugs your provider did not order
- Too many refills
- Injecting the medicine or snorting it
Talk to your provider about how opioid medicines can affect you.
Do you have health questions?
Call our 24-hour Nurse Advice Line toll-free number on the back of your Molina Healthcare ID card.
We are here to help you.
Member Information: Pain Self-Management (*contact Case Management for additional resources)