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NIDA. (2020, July 27). Four Steps for Using Prescription Pain Medications Safely. Retrieved from

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The NIDA Blog Team
July 27 2020
©Shutterstock/Kimberly Boyles

Prescription pain medications (opioids) are powerful drugs. They can be effective if they’re used safely, but if they’re misused, a person can become addicted to them. Addiction occurs when a person continues to take drugs or alcohol repeatedly, despite the harm they cause to the person’s life.

Prescription pain medications can also cause nausea (feeling sick to the stomach), slow down a person’s breathing, and even stop the breathing completely, leading to death.

Follow these four important steps to help you and your family stay safe when it comes to prescription opioids:

Learn more: A mother’s story about losing her daughter to opioid use disorder.