Press Release (ePRNews.com) - DURHAM, N.C. - Jan 23, 2018 - As part of its commitment to stemming the tide of opiate addiction and misuse of prescription pain medications, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare is participating in the NC Lock Your Meds educational campaign.
NC Lock Your Meds is part of a national multi-media campaign produced by National Family Partnership designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they may be the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially by young people.
Many people who misuse prescription medications get them from family and friends. Only five percent of children who misuse prescription medications say they get them from a stranger or a drug dealer.
The Lock Your Meds campaign aims to educate people about the importance of securing medications to prevent them from being accessed by children, family members or visitors. The project involves distributing promotional materials and information, as well as a limited number of medicine lockboxes, to raise awareness of the issue.
“She gets her hair from her mom. Her eyes from her dad. And her drugs from her grandma’s purse,” reads one poster depicting a teen girl. Another features a teen boy and reads “He gets ejro his music online. His t-shirts at the mall. And his drugs from his uncle’s medicine cabinet. All feature the “Lock Your Meds” tagline and direct people to the website http://www.lockyourmeds.org/nc.
The materials, which include posters, rack cards and magnets, are being distributed by Alliance’s Community Relations/Community Engagement staff. The Alliance Care Coordination team is distributing the lockboxes to individuals being discharged from facilities who are prescribed opioids and may be transient or have children. Alliance is also disseminating other information via its robust online and social media channels.
“Locking up medications is a very effective deterrent to medicine theft and misuse that may lead to prescription drug addiction,” said Alliance Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Vera Reinstein. “Securing the medications you are currently taking and properly disposing of the ones you no longer need can keep you from becoming an accidental dealer.”
Surveys have found that every day more than 1,700 children and young adults begin experimenting with prescription drugs, ranging from pain relievers and depressants to stimulants and over-the-counter medicine. Legally prescribed painkillers are often a precursor to drug use disorders, addiction and overdoses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016, a 28 percent increase over 2015. Every day nearly four North Carolinians die from a medication or drug overdose. The number of opioid overdose deaths in North Carolina increased from 150 in 1999 to 1,518 in 2016. Opioid deaths across the Alliance region have shown an increase of 526 percent from 1999 to 2016.
Alliance is the managed care organization for publicly funded behavioral healthcare services for the people of Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties. Alliance works with a network of almost 2,200 private providers to serve the needs of 471,000 Medicaid-eligible and uninsured individuals within a total population of 1.8 million.
The Lock Your Meds campaign is supported by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services with funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and federal grants.
Alliance Behavioral Healthcare