Opioids - Prevention

Steps everyone can take to protect and promote the health and safety of all state residents.

Community Actions

Make opioids less attractive

Share resources and information. Place articles and letters to the editors in community newspapers, newsletters, and bulletins. Post flyers and posters in stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and other locations. Set up a booth at community events with information about opioids, including safeguards and drug take-back locations.

Make opioids less acceptable

Host a community forum. Bring together law enforcement, pharmacies, ambulance services, behavioral health programs, schools, hospitals, business owners, community members, and other stakeholders in the community's culture, perceptions, values, and norms.

Form a community coalition. Recruit members at a community forum. Join the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth.

Make opioids less available

Initiate/expand and promote community take-back locations. Encourage law enforcement and pharmacies to maintain drug take-back collection boxes. Encourage community members to utilize these locations to safely dispose of unwanted, unneeded medications.

Individual Actions

Make opioids less attractive

Make opioids less acceptable

Take opioids only if they have been prescribed to you and only as instructed.

Make opioids less available

  • Store your opioids in a locked location out of the reach of others.
  • Keep track of your opioids and monitor your remaining doses.
  • Dispose of your unused opioids promptly at a take-back location.

Start with Youth, Young Adults

For a variety of reasons, youth and young adults are at higher risk of inappropriate use of opioids. Everyone has a role in protecting and promoting their health and safety.

  • Provide support during times of emotional stress.
    • Pressures at school (big assignments, exams)
    • Trouble with friends
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
  • Share information with them about the risks and dangers of opioids.
  • Encourage them to ask medical professionals for alternatives to opioids to manage pain.
  • Supply money only if certain about where and how it will be spent.

Dose of Reality: Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse in Wisconsin

The Department of Health Services is a partner with the Department of Justice on the Dose of Reality campaign to prevent prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin. This campaign includes resources for parents, educators, and coaches.


Helping Faith and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers a toolkit to help faith and community leaders know how to support opioid abuse prevention efforts. This toolkit was created by the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. There are six strategies.


Last Revised: November 29, 2017