Use alternatives to painkillers


Photo by Alexandra Radovic

Second-year student Alexandra Radovic believes many prescription pain killers can be dangerous and lead to addiction.

Alexandra Radovic, Reporter

Here at AACC, our motto is, “redefine yourself.” But because of opioids—pain-relieving medications that alter your mind and dull your senses—some AACC students never reach that goal.

If you have ever taken hydrocodone, oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet or morphine, you have taken an opioid.

These pain relievers are commonly prescribed by doctors. You may think this makes them safe, but it doesn’t. A person can become dependent on these pills after one dose.

Even a prescription medicine can lead to heroin use, because heroin is often laced with the same morphine that doctors prescribe for pain.

Todd Travers was an  AACC culinary student. He overdosed on heroin and died in 2013. Travers passed away without a chance to redefine himself.

But without opiods, how will you deal with pain after surgery?

Good news: You don’t have to risk a serious addiction in order to feel better.

Karen Sisko of the state Department of Health said a combination of non-prescription Tylenol and Advil can be even more effective for pain management than opioids.

Now that you know how dangerous these pills can be, you have the opportunity Travers never did.

So next time you are prescribed a pain killer, ask your doctor about alternatives like Tylenol and Advil, physical therapy or acupuncture.

If you go to a party and are offered alcohol or marijuana, avoid abusing them. Once they have altered your senses, you are more likely to accept other drugs like      heroin.

And if you see someone using heroin, call the authorities. Thanks to a 2015 law, reporting a drug overdose will not result in prosecution of the reporter or the abuser.

If you are already facing an addiction, are at risk or know someone who needs help, please visit the Collegiate Recovery Center on campus in SUN Room 208B from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  You can also visit any police station 24 hours a day.

All Anne Arundel County police and fire stations are designated “safe stations,” where anyone with an opioid addiction can ask for help without fear of prosecution. Also, leftover prescription pills are the No. 1 way people become addicted, according to the Department of Health, so use the 24-hour drop boxes at any fire station to dump leftover pills.

Let’s grab hold of the wings of our fellow Riverhawks and soar above addiction and into the bright future ahead.

Alexandra Radovic is a second-year elementary education student.