"Knowledge is power."

Learn more—from safe ways to get rid of leftover medicine to support finding the care you need.

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How to store medicines and get rid of leftovers

It's important to store and dispose of leftover medicine the safe way:

Support to stop using prescription opioids

If you are already using prescription opioids to manage pain, there are safe ways to taper off of them and switch to safer, equally effective treatment.

Insurance coverage

Many pain management options are covered by the Oregon Health Plan as well as private insurance.

If you're planning for an upcoming surgery or recovering from a recent injury, call your insurance company or Coordinated Care Organization to learn more about treatments and providers that are covered by your plan.

If you don’t have insurance or have recently lost work, you may be eligible for free coverage through the Oregon Health Plan. Learn more online or by calling 1-800-699-9075.

Prescribing guidelines

Learn more about Oregon's guidelines for safe opioid prescribing.

Research is shining a light on the dangers of opioids.

These powerful drugs should be a last resort for managing pain.

Recent studies have shown:

  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Advil R and Tylenol R) are just as effective at reducing pain as prescription opioids for some surgeries. 1
  • One of the main ways people become physically dependent on opioids is by taking opioid painkillers for common injuries and surgeries. 2
  • People get used to opioid painkillers quickly. This means they need to take higher and stronger doses to get the same effect—often leading to physical dependency in just a few days. 3
  • Taking prescription opioids for pain management may lead wounds to heal more slowly. 4
  • Although opioid painkillers cause drowsiness, they also disrupt the body's REM cycles and prevent deep sleep. For some people, this interference with sleep actually makes pain worse overall. 5


  1. Ilyas, A.M. , Miller, A.J., Martin, D., Matzon, J. L. (2018) Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Double-Blinded Trial Comparing Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Oxycodone after Hand Surgery. Retrieved from
  2. Butler, M. M., Ancona, R. M., Beauchamp, G. A., Yamin, C. K., Winstanley, E. L., Hart, K. W., Ruffner, A. H., Ryan, S. W., Ryan, R. J., Lindsell, C. J., … Lyons, M. S. (2016). Emergency Department Prescription Opioids as an Initial Exposure Preceding Addiction. Annals of emergency medicine, 68(2), 202-8.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (August 28, 2017). Opioid Overdose: Commonly Used Terms. Retrieved from
  4. Shanmugam VK, Couch KS, McNish S, Amdur RL. Relationship between Opioid Treatment and Rate of Healing in Chronic Wounds. Wound repair and regeneration: official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society. 2017;25(1):120-130. doi:10.1111/ wrr.12496.
  5. Jason T. Moore, Max B. Kelz; Opiates, Sleep, and Pain: The Adenosinergic Link. Anesthesiology 2009;111(6):1175-1176. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181bdfa2e.