Prevention – Prescription for change

Oklahoma's Prescription for change

Opioids come with serious risks.  According to the CDC, there are safer approaches that are more effective for pain management.  Ask your doctor for all the options to manage pain.

Better pain care

Anyone can become addicted to opioids, even when prescribed by a doctor.

Ready to understand my options-1


Ask for non-opioid treatment options.  Other options may actually work better and have fewer risks.

Talk to your health care provider about ways to manage pain that don’t involve prescription opioids.  Options may include physical therapy & exercise, weight loss, cognitive behavioral therapy, and non-opioid medicine.

Prescription opioids carry serious risks of addiction and overdose, especially with prolonged use. An opioid overdose, often marked by slowed breathing, can cause sudden death. The use of prescription opioids can have a number of side effects as well, even when taken as directed. Review the risks of opioids with your doctor such as:

  • Tolerance – needing to take more of a medication for the same pain relief
  • Physical dependence – meaning you have symptoms of withdrawal when a medication is stopped
  • Increased sensitivity to pain


Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks.  Consider using a conversation checklist.

Never take opioids in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.

Follow up with your primary health care provider. Work together to create a plan on how to manage your pain. Talk about ways to help manage your pain that don’t involve prescription opioids. Talk about any and all concerns and side effects.

Never sell or share prescription opioids.

Never use another person’s prescription opioids.

Store prescription opioids in a secure place and out of reach of others (this may include visitors, children, friends, and family).

Dispose of unused prescription opioids the safest way possible: Find your community drug take-back program or your pharmacy mail-back program, or properly disposed by following guidance from the Food and Drug Administration.

What should HealthCare providers do?

According to the CDC:

  • Benefits of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain are not well supported by evidence.
  • Short-term benefits are small to moderate for pain; inconsistent for function.
  • Insufficient evidence for long-term benefits in low back pain, headache, and fibromyalgia.
  • Opioids are not first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain.

Improving the way pain is treated and opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can help ensure patients have access to more effective treatment while protecting patient safety.

Review evidence-based guidelines for pain management:

Adopt evidence-based guidelines in your practice. 

Traditional clinical education can help orient healthcare providers to new advances in medical practice.  Evidence also shows that “elbow-to-elbow” guidance, such as that provided by peer clinicians and practice coaches, is effective in changing workflows and information technology.  Learn more about available support by contacting the Oklahoma Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Prevention is local

OK, I'm ready to get involved.

There are many ways you can make an impact in your community.  Regional Prevention Coordinators can connect you to local prevention projects and opportunities for your town, school, workplace, faith communities, and other groups.  Reach out today!