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Be healthy

National Safety Month Tip: Week 2

May 22, 2016

On average, 52 people die every day in the United States as a result of prescription opioid overdoses, and statistics show that prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin account for more drug overdoses than heroin and cocaine combined.

If you are injured, speak with your health care professional and do the research. Prescription painkillers can be extremely addictive and, according to the National Safety Council, are less effective than a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Start the discussion

The council recommends talking to your family about the dangers and risks of opioid painkillers. Discussion topics should include:

  • The potentially deadly dangers of mixing prescription painkillers and alcohol
  • How painkillers are made from opioids – similar to heroin
  • How to safely store medications in a locked drawer or 
  • The importance of talking to grandparents, caregivers and houseguests about safely storing medications, and not leaving medications in coats or purses
  • Keeping children away from prescription drugs