In April, 2019, the national Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit reported that 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. And that staggering number doesn’t even include the additional – and growing – number of deaths caused by heroin or synthetic opioid overdose, which often start with prescription pain pill misuse. Tragically, these overdose numbers continue to rise year after year. Sometimes the victims are young children who ingest a parent’s or grandparent’s powerful pain pills, blood pressure meds or even vitamins which have been improperly stored.
In 2018, the Annals of Internal Medicine released a study citing medication diversion as the largest source of misused opioid analgesics. Because most patients lack knowledge about safe storage and disposal of opioids, these dangerous medications can easily fall into the wrong hands.
Communities and organizations across the nation recognize the importance of implementing best practices around safe storage and flexing their “prevention power” by putting Safer LockR abuse-deterrent packaging into play. Here are some highlights of the approaches and programs that inspire us.
Citrus Heights, California, and Sacramento County lead the charge
To stop accidental poisonings and medication misuse before it starts, Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost secured a grant from the county for an innovative trial program. City Councilman Bret Daniels spearheaded the program to benefit residents of Citrus Heights, an established community of 90,000 located in the heart of California’s capital region. The trial program provides Safer Lockprescription bottles with locking caps to parents, allowing them to secure medications in this simple but effective locking prescription bottle that can be opened by those who know the unique four-digit combination code.
To put locking prescription bottles into the hands of those who need them most, Councilman Daniels partnered with WellSpace Health, an integrated medical health and mental health services provider with clinics in the Sacramento region, to distribute Safer Lock bottles to their patients in Citrus Heights. Dr. Janine Bera, Chief Medical Officer for WellSpace Health notes that, “Sadly, by now we probably all have a friend or family member whose trouble with drug addiction began by pilfering a few pills from the medicine bottle of a parent or neighbor. Who’s going to miss just a few? Safer Lockis an easy and convenient way to keep these medications available for use as they were intended while at the same time, preventing them from being used inappropriately.”
Ohio community partnership includes Safer Lock boxes in “Defender Kits”
Ohio was hit early and hard by the opioid epidemic. Summit County residents responded by creating the Summit County Community Partnership, a consortium of community resources committed to preventing substance abuse and problem gambling. For example, the partnership is working with the local Summit Educational Service Center to train teachers and school administrators on the GenRx medicine safety curriculum. People who participate in the in-service training receive Safer Lock boxes as part of the partnership’s “Defender Kit.” This brief video showcases the kits as simple yet powerful ways to keep the community safe from medication misuse. And it prompts the question – how can you follow suit in your community?
Pima County prevention at work in diverse Arizona communities
The Pima County Community Prevention Coalition (CPC) of Arizona is comprised of over 135 members representing over 45 different organizations, community coalitions and many diverse sectors of the community. Together, they have a shared vision for a community where youth can be safe and prosper. The CPC follows a community-based, community-driven (and data-driven) framework for prevention. The CPC operates on the premise that the community best understands its issues and needs; accordingly, the wisdom of the community lays the foundation for plans and strategies to serve diverse residents in both urban and rural communities.
In the urban environment, many people know about the risks of medication diversion, and are more apt to lock up their meds or dispose of them at events like DEA take-back days. It’s a different story in the rural, largely Hispanic community, of Amado where the CPC has a Drug Free Communities Project just 25 miles north of the border. Here, health care services are harder to access; transportation can be challenging, insurance may be non-existent, and money can be tight. In this rural community, it’s also the cultural norm to take care of friends and family. Accordingly, people don’t dispose of excess medications as a rule; someone else might need it. And that’s why it makes sense for the Coalition to distribute the Safer Lock in the rural areas: It allows people to keep excess medications locked up while participating in the community and communal effort to stay healthy.
The coalition educates residents of all ages about the dangers of medication misuse. At parent education sessions or other outreach events, anyone who is willing to sign a pledge to lock up their medications receives a Safer Lock. The coalition enlists teens in a “Locking Cap Challenge,” where they compete to get adults to pledge to lock up their medications in a Safer Lock bottle. That’s a double win: When youth carry the message about deadly medication misuse, they are more likely to hear it themselves – and believe it – while they educate others.
These various approaches to securing powerful medications with a Safer Lock have one thing in common: they all help keep powerful medications in the right hands. So how can YOU use abuse-deterrent packaging to keep YOUR community safe?
About Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc.
Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc., the maker of Safer Lock, designs and delivers abuse-deterrent packaging that reduces diversion and accidental access to powerful medications. The company’s vision is to save lives endangered by drug misuse. Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc., is headquartered in Sacramento, California.
For more information, please visit https://saferlockrx.com/
Company Name: Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc.
Contact Person: Nathan Langley
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Country: United States