click to go to

Five Days: Know the Risks

It takes just five days to become addicted to prescription opioids.

If you or someone you love is experiencing pain, you may likely visit a doctor to assist with a form of prescription pain relief.

Opioids are just one type of medication prescribed to alleviate pain, but they come with a substantial risk if misused, used over long periods of time, in high doses, or combined with other medications. These risks include respiratory depression and dependency – as it takes just five days to become addicted to these.

SAFE Project and its partners want to empower you to understand the risks and find safer options for minimizing pain. There are non-opioid pain relievers available over the counter and through a prescription from your medical provider.

Prescription Opioids Can Come in a Variety of Forms

If your medication contains one of the following generic medications, it contains an opioid, which requires caution and vigilance in use, storage and disposal:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Codeine
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Pethidine
  • Propoxyphene
  • Tramadol

Non-habit forming options include acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.

Prescription Options for Pain

Prescription-strength Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a safer option as well. Other prescription non-opioid pain relievers include: anti-epileptics, antidepressants, topicals, muscle relaxants, and steroids. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any medication.

Consult Your Doctor and/or Pharmacist

It is ok to ask questions of your doctor or pharmacist. You deserve to understand why something has been suggested, and if it is the best course of action for you. If you and your doctor determine that opioids are the best course of treatment, follow your doctor’s guidance and use them safely and as prescribed.

SAFE Project and its partners just want you to be SAFE and know the risks.


Join the No Shame Movement

It can take just five days to become addicted to opioids. Don't let stigma prevent you from helping others. Take the No Shame Pledge and join the national movement to eliminate stigma.

Meet the Partners