Picking up the important work of Jim and Jeanne Moser’s Zero Left campaign, we’re focusing on initiatives that reduce the amount of unused opioids lingering in our homes and communities. These efforts, being executed by our community members, hospitals, and health resources, are proving to make an impact!
Giving the public a safe way to dispose of leftover pain medication is an important step in the opioid epidemic battle. Together, we’ve installed medication takeback boxes throughout New Hampshire. These safe disposal containers make it easy for anyone to dispose of unused or expired prescription opioids. They have been installed at Wentworth-Douglass, CMC, LRGH, and Southern New Hampshire hospitals, where they’ve proven to be highly effective and are emptied regularly.
Other takeback boxes are located across the state, and private companies have joined the fight, too. Verde Technologies, for example, sells drug deactivation systems, and Walmart now provides free opioid disposal packets in all their pharmacies.Find a Takeback Box
More than 42,000 people died from opioids in 2016**, and that number grows every year.
People need to understand the risks of prescription opioids, how they affect the lives around us, and the importance of properly storing and destroying excess or expired medications. Public awareness is vital. Zero Left has already been the subject of online features and made public appearances, such as Jeanne Moser’s presence at the 2018 State of the Union Address. We have also spread educational materials, and we encourage people to share their own experiences on Zero Left’s Facebook page.
A key focus of this process is educating providers on how to safely and effectively prescribe pain medication, addressing chronic vs. post-surgical pain. For chronic pain management, we focus on teaching appropriate dosing ranges and ways to help patients control their pain safely. For post-surgical education, we’ve built on results of a recent study in the Annals of Surgery, which indicates that for some surgeries, physicians could reduce the quantity of pain medication by as much as 50%. We also offer in-office brochures and posters to help providers start the conversation with patients when prescribing opioids.
This part of the program is critically important, because patients on very high doses of opioids have a 1 in 32 chance of dying of accidental overdose.***