Anyone who uses an opioid is at risk of dependence

There is a big problem in Utah with opioid drug misuse and abuse.  And, anyone who uses prescription painkillers is at risk of becoming dependent on them.

That's why the Use Only As Directed campaign is all about prevention.  Susannah Burt, with the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, says the more people know and understand the issue, the more they can do to take charge of their own health care, and the health care of their families and loved ones.

People are still dying from the misuse and abuse of opioids, which also includes the street drug heroin.

The first line of defense, Susannah says, is knowing and realizing there is a potential risk with any opioid.    She suggests talking with your doctor about possible alternatives to painkillers.  Sometimes you don't need a long-term prescription for your pain.  Over-the-counter painkillers may be an option, or even physical therapy or rest.

If you are already struggling with opioid addiction, you can call "211" to  find resources in your community that can help, judgement free.

You can also find more information at: useonlyasdirected.org.

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