Prevention begins with education.

Before taking prescription opioids, know the alternatives.

If you or someone you care about has been prescribed opioids for chronic or acute pain, you should be aware that there are other ways to treat it. Research has found that over-the-counter medications and certain therapies treat pain successfully without the risks associated with opioids. The types of alternative approaches to managing pain include:

  • NSAIDS (over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage Therapy
  • Chiropractic care

It’s important to know all the facts and the options available to you. Ask your health care provider about these alternative approaches to pain management and work together to develop a plan that’s right for you. One or more of these approaches could be the best way to manage your pain and eliminate the risks associated with prescription opioids.

Learn the risks of opioids.

These fact sheets can help you learn more about opioid medications and the risks—and offer helpful information from reliable sources about alternative treatment options. Share them with the people you care about.

The importance of prevention

Prevention begins with education. Starting early can reduce the likelihood that you or someone you care about will become addicted or suffer long-term negative consequences from drug and alcohol misuse and abuse.

Drug abuse comes in many forms, including:

  • Underage use of legal drugs (e.g. tobacco and alcohol)
  • The use of illegal drugs (e.g. marijuana or heroin)
  • The inappropriate use of legally obtained substances (e.g. inhalants, alcohol, prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs).

If you’re concerned about possibility of someone you care about misusing prescription drugs or alcohol, talk about it. When it comes to drugs, you can be a great influence the lives of others.


Help your friend or family member stay focused on positive goals that don’t include drugs. Support and acknowledge the positive things they do and achieve. Find out about treatment resources that can help and offer them if and when they are needed.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, no single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.

Nearly every day, someone in Delaware loses their battle with heroin, prescription painkillers, or other addictive drugs. Teens need to know about the risks and consequences. And they need to hear it from you.

Causes of addiction

12 Reasons Teens Use Prescription Drugs

Talk about it

Start the conversation

Tips on talking to your friend or family member about alcohol and drug use:

  • Stick to the facts — threats and scare tactics aren’t effective.
  • Have regular, nonjudgmental conversations with your child or teen.
  • Use positive reinforcement to boost your child’s self-confidence.
  • Talk when your friend or family member when they can pay attention—not while they are distracted (i.e. watching TV, playing video games, or texting friends).
  • Know who your friend or family member hangs out with, and talk about their friends. Keep the conversation open about how they’re spending their free time.
  • Make sure your friend or family member knows there are consequences.
  • Talk to your friend or family member about saying no.
10 Things Parents can do to Keep Kids Safe from Addiction
10 Things Parents can do to Keep Kids Safe from Addiction
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How can you help?

As a concerned friend or family member, you can take steps:

  • Have regular, nonjudgmental conversations about drug and alcohol use.
  • Watch for changes in behavior and health habits that could be symptoms of addiction.
  • Encourage involvement in activities that help to grow healthy friendships and interests. And keep track of their activities by asking questions and checking in.
  • If you are a parent, establish clear family rules about alcohol and drugs.
  • Be a role model by setting a positive example when it comes to your own alcohol consumption and drug use.
  • Educate yourself on the various substances that pose a danger, and share what you learn with family members.
  • Ask your doctor if there are alternatives to addictive pain medications for yourself or your child.
  • Warn those you care about to that taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed for them is unsafe.
  • Lock up your prescription medications, which can be a gateway to illegal drugs. If you have prescription medications that are expired, unnecessary, or no longer needed, take them to a secure prescription drug dropbox in your area.

Get help

Name Age Gender Insurance Locations Phone Website
Addiction Action Committee
Age:Adults Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/pdachome.html
atTAcK addiction
Age:10-17 Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Delaware State Police Troop 2, 100 Lagrange Ave., Newark Phone:302-593-0949 http://www.attackaddiction.org/get-involved/reality-tour/
Delaware Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts
Age:10-19 Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Online resource Phone: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/facts-and-stats/national-and-state-data-sheets/adolescents-and-substance-abuse/delaware/index.html
Delaware School Survey
Age:11-18 Gender:All Insurance:No Locations: Phone: https://www.cdhs.udel.edu/seow/school-surveys/delaware-school-survey-%28dss%29
Delaware’s 24-Hour Child Priority Response Hotline
Age:Children Gender:All Insurance:No Locations: Phone:800-969-4357 or 911
Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families
Age:17 and under Gender:All Insurance:Yes Locations:Statewide Phone:302-633-2600 http://kids.delaware.gov/pbhs/pbhs.shtml
Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsamh/prevention.html
Heroin Alert Program
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:At local schools Phone:(302) 395-8062 http://www.heroinalert.org/
Office of Adolescent Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone:855-378-4373 http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://www.drugfree.org/
Prevent Youth Suicide
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://getrightsideup.org/
Red Clay School Nurses
Age:Parents Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://www.smartmovessmartchoices.org/resources
Resources for talking with teens
Age:Parents Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-publications/info/parents/just-facts/
Strategic Prevention Framework
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsamh/prevention.html
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Hotline
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations: Phone:800-662-HELP (4357)
The Heroin Trap Program
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone:302-395-8050 http://www.theherointrap.com/
The Medicine Abuse Project
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://medicineabuseproject.org/
Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign
Age:All Gender:All Insurance:No Locations:Visit website for details Phone: http://beta.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking
Name Phone Website
Addiction Action Committee
Phone: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/pdachome.html
atTAcK addiction
Phone:302-593-0949 http://www.attackaddiction.org/get-involved/reality-tour/
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions
Phone: http://www.cadca.org/
GetSmartAboutDrugs.com
Phone: http://getsmartaboutdrugs.com/
Heroin Alert
Phone: http://www.heroinalert.org/
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program
Phone: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/high-intensity-drug-trafficking-areas-program
Hope Street DE
Phone: http://www.hopestreetde.com/
Resources for talking with teens
Phone: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-publications/info/parents/just-facts/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Helpline
Phone:800-662-HELP (4357)
The Heroin Trap
Phone: http://www.theherointrap.com/
The Problem with Prescription Opioids
Phone: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/prescribed.html
TRIAD Addiction Recovery Services
Phone:302-655-1153 http://www.triadde.org
University of Delaware’s Center for Drug and Health Studies
Phone: https://www.cdhs.udel.edu/