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  • Do not drink alcohol while taking opioids.
  • Do not start any new medications without talking to your prescriber (e.g. doctor, nurse practitioner) or pharmacist first.
  • Do not share medications.
  • Store medications in a safe and secure place.
  • Take your medications exactly as prescribed. If you have questions, ask your prescriber or pharmacist. Take medication as prescribed.

Mixing Drugs

  • If you mix, try to use less amount of each drug. Avoid using with alcohol.
  • Most deaths occur when multiple substances are taken together.

Quantity/Potency

  • All opioids are not created equally.
  • Do a test, does it look the same? Is it from a trusted source?

Tolerance
When a drug is used repeatedly over time, a tolerance may develop. Tolerance is when a person doesn’t respond to a drug in the same way they initially responded. In this case, a higher dose of the drug is needed to achieve the same high as initially achieved.

  • Varies with stress, illness or other medical conditions.
  • Drops rapidly within a few days of not using.
  • After breaks of not using, start with a smaller dose and go slow.

Routes of Administration

  • You may not be able to handle the same amount of drug when switching routes.
  • Not using opioids is recommended. If opioids are used, swallowing and snorting are preferred routes of administration. Injectable doses are most dangerous.

Don’t use non-prescription opioids alone

  • If you use opioids alone, no one will be there to help you if you overdose.
  • Use with a friend or have someone you trust check on you.
  • Have a plan and carry Naloxone.

Where to access Naloxone

Fact Sheets

Naloxone: Save a Life

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