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Ask your doctor these questions before taking opioids

Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

Rock Springs — If you’ve recently had a surgery or are preparing for one, you may have some questions for your doctors about opioids.

“To ease any fears you may have about taking pain medication, it’s best to talk to your physician before your surgery,” said MHSC Family Practitioner Dr. Brytton Long.

It’s also important to have your questions answered after surgery.

“After a procedure, patients are sometimes worried about the pain they may experience and how to deal with,” said MHSC Hospitalist Dr. Kishore Rasamallu.

To successfully manage your pain while minimizing addiction risks, it’s important that you have all of the information you need.

Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. To help you get a handle on pain management and opioids, here are 12 questions from that will serve as a starting point when talking to your doctor:

  1. Why are you prescribing an opioid?
  2. Is this the right medication for me?
  3. How long should I take this medication?
  4. How will this medication make me feel?
  5. Are there any side effects from this medication? If so, how can I reduce or prevent them?
  6. Is there a possibility that I will become addicted to this medication?
  7. I have a history of substance use disorder. Should I still take an opioid?
  8. Addiction runs in my family; should I take this medication?
  9. Should I start with a shorter prescription or fewer pills?
  10. Are there any non-opioids that I can take as an alternative?
  11. I am currently taking other prescription drugs. Is it safe to take opioids with other medication?
  12. After I’ve finished this medication, what is the best way to dispose of it? (See the “Drug Donation & Disposal” list).

For more information or to find a physician, check out the resources on this website.

Drug Donation & Disposal

Drop-off points: In Sweetwater County, there are three medication donation sites or disposal drop box locations:

  • Rock Springs Police Department, 221 C St., Rock Springs
  • Walgreens, 70 Gateway Blvd., Rock Springs
  • Green River Police Department, 375 West Flaming Gorge Way, Green River

Donate: You can donate sealed containers of medicine, but not expired or controlled substances such as medications for pain, sleep or anxiety.

Dispose: You can dispose of opened or expired medications, as well as controlled substances such as medications for pain, sleep or anxiety.