Patient Education

Become Your OWN Advocate for Safe Pain Relief

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. 

If you are being prescribed an opioid, talk to your doctor about your options. There are safer alternatives for your pain management.

Try these discussion points:

  • “What about ibuprofen, would that work instead?”
  • “Are there any other options I can try?”
  • “Are these safe to cut in half?”
  • “Can you prescribe only 1-2 days worth?”
  • “What’s the least amount I can take?”

 Adapted from Ventura County Behavioral Health / 


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