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Welcome to our Opioid Education page, dedicated to providing valuable information sourced from reputable organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid misuse and addiction are serious public health concerns, and it is crucial to be well-informed to make informed decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

Understanding Opioids

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and illicit substances such as heroin. Understanding the nature of opioids is vital for recognizing their potential risks and benefits. For accurate and up-to-date information, we refer to the CDC's comprehensive resources on opioids

Prescription Opioid Safety

If you have been prescribed opioids, it's crucial to use them safely and responsibly. Our guidelines align with the CDC's recommendations for prescription opioid safety, emphasizing proper usage, storage, and disposal to minimize the risk of misuse and unintentional harm. 

Opioid Storage Strategies:​

  • Take prescription opioids out of the medicine cabinet.

  • Securely store opioid medications by either hiding them or using a lock.

  • Retain prescription medications in their original packaging to clearly indicate the intended recipient and to keep the usage instructions readily available.

  •  Refrain from storing prescribed medication for later use, unless instructed otherwise.

  • Avoid sharing medications with others.

Recognizing Opioid Addiction

Recognizing the signs of opioid addiction is key to seeking help early. According to John Hopkins Medicine the following is symptoms of opioid use disorder:

  • Physical Dependence

  • Increasingly heavy, frequent, or risky use of opioids

  • Cravings for the drug

  • Drowsiness

  • Changes in sleep habits

  • Weight loss

  • Frequent flu-like symptoms

  • Change in exercise habits

  • Isolation from family and friends

  • Stealing from family, friends, or businesses

  • Financial difficulties

Even in the face of a substance use disorder, an individual might downplay the severity of the issue and be resistant to assistance for an extended period. When they reach a point of readiness and willingness to embark on the journey to recovery, it becomes crucial for them to have access to supportive resources and initiate treatment promptly.


Recovery from opioid addiction is possible with the right support and resources. Reach out to one of our providers at any of our three Rural Health Clinics for support by calling 580-286-2947. For emergency situations call 911, and note that our Emergency Department is available 24/7.

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