Best Practices: Establishing New Medicine Norms

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RX/OPIOID PREVENTION: Background

  1. CARA -TAsk Force goal
    • Comprehensive approach to addressing the Opioid Crisis
  1. Opioids - what are they?
    • Opioids are synthetic drugs, usually Rx'd painkiller medication (oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine). Also includes illicit drugs such as fentanyl, and carfentynal.
    • Opiates include naturally derived drugs such as heroin, opium.
  1. Why do people move from prescription drugs to heroin?
  • Prescription opioids (pain pills) and heroin are chemically similar and can produce a similar high.
  • In NJ, heroin is cheaper and easier to get than prescription opioids, so some people switch to using heroin instead.
  • According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, nearly 80 percent of Americans using heroin (including those in treatment) reported misusing prescription opioids prior to using heroin.
  1. Are some more at-risk than others?
  • While anyone can become addicted, there are a few groups that DHMAS has identified as being especially at-risk for Rx Opioids: (Programs offered for free in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties)
    1. Older Adults- As we age, pain and mobility can become issues in our daily lives. Knowing about pain management alternatives and other best practices can help reduce or avoid a person's need for prescription pain medications.
    2. Athletes- Teens and Young adults who participate in athletics may be at a greater risk of prescription opioid use because of potential injury, and teammates sharing medications (medicine misuse).ACCESS FREE TOOLKITS https://tinyurl.com/SCC-OpioidToolkits
  1. Drug Overdose Trends
  • CDC recently estimated that drug overdose deaths surpassed 72,000 in 2017. This represents an increase of more than 6,000 deaths over the estimate for 2016.
    • 200 drug overdose deaths every single day, or one every eight minutes.
      • The increase is based on a continued surge in deaths involving synthetic opioids, a category that includes fentanyl. In NJ, we lost 2,222 lives to drug overdoses in 2016.

BEST PRACTICES: ESTABLISHING NEW MEDICINE NORMS

SAFE MEDICINE PRACTICES

  • Safe Use- Take medicines only as prescribed. Assign ONE adult for safe dispensing.
  • Safe Storage- Use a MedLock Box, or keep out of easily accessible locations.
  • Safe Disposal- Use a Medicine Drop Box

SAFE MEDICINE DISPOSAL

HOW TO SAFE DISPOSE

  • Solid Medications: pills, patches, and inhalers, etc. - including Rx, OTC, and Pet Meds
    • Leave medications in the container.
    • Remove any personal information.
    • Bring to your local Medicine Drop Box location.
  • Syringes/Needles:
    • Ask your pharmacist about safe needle disposal boxes or find a Safe Syringe Disposal Program near you.
  • Liquid Medications:
    • In a sealable bag or coffee can, make the medicine appear unattractive by mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter. Dispose in household trash.

MED DISPOSAL BOX LOCATIONS:

  • Find locations in Hunterdon and Somerset: Safe Coalition Website.…...tinyurl.com/SCCMedDropBox
  • Download PDFof "HOW2 - Hunterdon & Somerset Safe Disposal"….….tinyurl.com/SCCResourceGroup
  • More locations, visit…………………….….…….www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop/Pages/Locations.aspx

EMPOWERING PATIENTS DURING DR VISITS

Check-up, Check List: Before your doctor writes a prescription for painkiller medication, such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Codeine:

  1. Always ASK about the alternative treatment options.
  2. Ask about the risks of addiction and overdose related to painkiller medications.
  3. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist or school nurse/physician know about any medications you are taking to avoid unwanted side-effects.

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