TX - Addicted Oklahoma bug closer

How do I safely use prescription pain medications?
• Only take medications prescribed to you.
• Read instructions that accompany prescriptions.
• Follow the doctor’s instructions about medications.
• Never take more than was prescribed.
• Don’t drink alcohol while taking medication.

What are the signs of a prescription drug overdose?
• Clammy skin
• Shallow breathing
• Inability to wake up
• Vomiting
• Bluish purple to gray or ashen skin tones
• Fever

What should be done in the event of unwanted side effects or an overdose from prescription painkillers?
• If someone needs immediate assistance, dial “911.”
• Contact the prescribing physician.
• Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222
• Use a prescription antidote, called naloxone, which can reverse an overdose and is available in a hand-held auto injector.
• Let the victim sleep.
• Put the victim in a bath or shower.
• Leave the victim alone.
• Treat the victim with home remedies.

What are the signs of pain medication addiction?
• Compulsive drug use
• Medication cravings
• Continued use despite physical, mental or social harm
• Impaired control over use

How do I find treatment services?
• Call “211” to reach 24-hour help and be linked to local treatment providers.
• Talk to your physician, community hospitals, community mental health centers, clergy, insurance provider, family and friends.
Find a regional prevention coordinator.

How do I safely store prescription pain medications?
• Store out of reach of children, family and guests.
• Know where the medications are at all times.
• Keep pills in the original bottles with the labels attached.
• Always keep track of how many pills are in the bottles.
• Properly dispose of medication.

How do I dispose of unused or unwanted prescription pain pills?
• Drop the medications at one of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs’ 151 medicine take-back drop boxes throughout the state. The Bureau has at least one box in each county and will be adding about 30 more in the next few months. Find a map of location at this link; click on “Safe Disposal.”
• Put the medications in a sealed bag with an unpleasant substance, such as coffee grounds, and throw it in the garbage. Before disposing of pill bottles, scratch out any information to make it unreadable.

For more information, visit:
Take As Prescribed

To see if your doctor is facing disciplinary actions, visit:

Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

Oklahoma Board of Osteopathic Examiners

Support our publication

Every day we strive to produce journalism that matters — stories that strengthen accountability and transparency, provide value and resonate with readers like you.

This work is essential to a better-informed community and a healthy democracy. But it isn’t possible without your support.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.