Overdose Prevention Steps for Prevention Choose Before You Use If possible, do not use. There is no safe dose of opioids. But if you do use – Choose! Go Slow – Not taking drugs for even a few days can drop your tolerance, making your “usual dose” an “overdose,” which can result in death. If you choose to use, cut your dose at least in half.Wait – If you choose to use, wait long enough after you use to feel the effects before you even consider dosing again (regardless of IV, snorting, smoking).Let Someone Know – Always let someone know you’re using opioids so they can check on you. Many who overdose do so when dosing alone. How to Safely Dispose of Opioids and other Medications The safest and best way to prevent misuse or overdose and keep the environment protected is to take your medicines to a drug take-back program. Click here to find a location near you.Drug take back day programs are temporary places often set up at local pharmacies or police departments where you can leave the unused or expired medication.You can also download the Connect Alabama app and select the services locator option to find a disposal location near you. To download Connect Alabama, scan the code at bottom of page or visit the Google Play or App Store and search “Connect Alabama.”If you do not have any of these places in your neighborhood there are other ways to safely get rid of your medication at home.The medicine label may contain specific directions that will allow you to safely get rid of the medicine at home. Substances such as opioids and other medicines can be harmful if taken by others, so the label might have special throwaway instructions that you should follow.If there are no special directions for throwing them away, you can do the following 4 things to remove them from your home:Mix your medicine with things like dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds, make sure you mix the medication with something that someone would consider eating.Put the mixture in a sealed plastic bag or plastic container.Throw the bag/container in your household trash.Mark out or scratch out all your personal information on the prescription bottle to make it unreadable. Then throwaway or recycle the empty medication bottle.You should get rid of any unused or expired prescription medicine because this prevents someone from being accidentally exposed or someone intentionally misusing the medicine. Timely disposal of opioid medicine and other drugs can reduce this danger to others. Overdose Prevention PDF Community Resources Main Menu Drug Facts Maternal and Infant Wellness Alcohol Use During Pregnancy Birth Defects Mental Health Opioids and Overdose Good Samaritan Law Overdose Prevention Prevention Substance Use Disorder Suicide and Prevention Treatment Medication Assisted Treatment Mental Health Treatment Substance Use Disorder Treatment Contact Us How you can prevent an overdose: KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TAKING Go online to http://www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html to learn what pills you are taking, and the dose. Taking 5mg of Vicodin is different from taking 5mg of Percocet or 5mg of Methadone. The same amount of two different drugs may have different effects and symptoms. Know the difference between short-acting, long-acting, and extended release. AVOID MIXING WITH ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS Drugs with the same effects (i.e., downers like opioids and alcohol) can dangerously slow breathing. For drugs with opposite effects (like opioids and stimulants), you may take too much of the downer because you can’t feel its full effects KNOW YOUR TOLERANCE If you have a period of not taking your prescribed opioid and then start taking it again TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR first! It may take less of the medication to have the same effect. Your tolerance may also be lower if you are sick, tired, haven’t eaten, or lost weight. AVOID USING OTHER THAN AS DIRECTED Prescription medications can take a long time to have their full effect. Keep this in mind if you think the medication is not working fast enough. Avoid chewing, cutting, crushing, or dissolving opioid tablets or capsules and talk to your doctor if you need to take more medication than prescribed to get pain relief – you may need a different dose or type of medication. REMEMBER: Follow dosing and let your doctor know if you are in drug treatment or are taking any other medications! Relapse Making the decision to stop using a drug once addiction has developed is not easy, and reaching sobriety is a huge accomplishment! However, like many other diseases, it is possible to relapse. Relapse is often seen as part of the recovery process because of how common it can be. Some methods for avoiding relapse: Avoid friends who use drugs and/or alcohol and are not interested in getting sober. Avoid the places where you used to abuse your substance of choice. For example, bars, clubs, certain parks, or parts of your college campus. Consider going into a sober living home. Create a clear, relapse-prevention plan and make yourself accountable to stick with it. Occasionally revisit your rehab facility for a refresher. Attend regular therapy appointments. Take medications you need and check in with your psychiatrist regularly. Discuss your disease with your employer and build a safeguard around stressors at work. Relapse does not mean you are a failure or that your rehab did not work! It simply means that the symptoms of your disease have reappeared, and adjustments must be made in your treatment and/or recovery plan. Surviving relapse: Each day of your life is a new step in the right direction. When you fall, you must learn to pick yourself up and continue your journey. Relapsing is not an excuse to use drugs; instead, it is a reason to resist substance use more and continue your recovery with determination and pride.