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


What do we know about how much opioid pain medication most people need after a given operation or injury?

Different Approaches

What are the best alternatives to opioids? What’s the best way to have well-controlled pain after surgery or injury? 


What are the proper methods for safe disposal of unused opioids to ensure they are not diverted into your community? 


Opioids are a type of medication mostly prescribed for pain control. Opioids are strong medications that must be prescribed and managed by a health care professional. They can cause serious side effects, including decreased breathing rates, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting, and constipation. It is possible to become addicted to prescription opioids, and they are commonly abused by people other than the person for whom the prescription was written. Common prescription opioid pain medications include codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and tramadol. These medications may be given alone or combined with other medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).


Welcome to Safer Opioids!

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Welcome to Safer Opioids. We’re glad you’re here!

This website is designed to provide easy access to the most important information about prescription opioids – for patients, medical providers, and the public. It is, and always will be, a work in progress, so check back often for new information, or follow us on Twitter (@Safer_Opioids) to stay up to date. As we launch the site, we’re featuring information from our recent series of collaborative learning teleconferences, Safer Prescribing of Opioids after Trauma and Surgery (SPOTS). You can watch these sessions on the site, or link to the University of Wisconsin’s continuing education site to get free CME (including opioid CME for Wisconsin providers). We’re also featuring our newest video, It’s Not Worth The Risk, which describes the danger of prescribing codeine and tramadol to children and provides safer alternatives [link].

We hope this is the beginning of a long conversation about the best way to prescribe, use, and prevent abuse of prescription opioids.  Please let us know what you think, either on Twitter or by email to We want this site to be useful to you, and the best way to do that is for you to tell us what you want to see.

Thanks for visiting. Don’t be a stranger.

Jonathan Emerson Kohler, MD