Your resource for data-driven strategies to minimize unnecessary opioid prescriptions, prevent diversion of opioids into your community, and provide effective non-opioid pain relief.


Contemplating an operation? Had an injury? Have old opioid prescriptions around the house and want to safely dispose of them? Click below to find a curated, searchable list of opioid information for patients. 


Do you prescribe opioid medications? Click below for easy-to-read summaries of the latest literature, prescribing best practices, patient education materials, and other information specifically tailored to medical professionals.


Opioids affect the lives of patients, prescribing professionals, and whole communities. Click below for a comprehensive list of resources about disposal, community support, and ways you can help in your community to reduce the impact of opioids.

Safer Opioids Spotlight

Codeine and tramadol are commonly prescribed opioids that should not be given to children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of tramadol in anyone under 18. The FDA has has also issued a contraindication – also known as a Black Box Warning – to the use of codeine in any patient under 12 and any patient under 18 having tonsil or adenoid surgery, or with a variety of other medical complications.  Despite these warnings, thousands of children every year fill prescriptions for codeine and tramadol. This short video describes the risks of these prescriptions and provides safer alternatives. Please watch and share with your colleagues who care for children.

Click here to receive free Continuing Medical Education credit for watching this video.

Half of people who misuse opioids get them from a friend or relative for free.


Prescription opioids account for as many opioid-related deaths as heroin. 


22% of people who misuse opioids get them from a physician.


1 in 16 patients (6%) of patients prescribed opioids after surgery get a second prescription. 


Safer Opioids is a co-production of the Wisconsin South Central Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition (SCWIHERC), South Central Regional Trauma Advisory Council (SCRTAC), Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin (SCW), and Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. This website was funded by a generous Enhancing Public Health Preparedness: The Opioid Epidemic grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).