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Prescription Medicine

Improve Safety Around Prescription Medicine

Overprescribing can lead to addiction or death. Stigma remains a barrier to effective treatment. SAFE Project strives to make prescription medicine safer through public awareness, education and stigma reduction. This can be achieved at the community level, and can save lives.

Facts & Figures:

  • After taking opioids for just 5 days in a row, a person becomes more likely to take them long-term. (CDC, 2017)
  • Research shows that a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is superior to opioids for treating many types of pain, including acute dental pain. (National Safety Council and Case Western University, 2018)
  • More than three out of four people who misuse prescription painkillers use drugs prescribed to someone else. (CDC)
  • More than 30 percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzodiazepines, a type of prescription sedative commonly prescribed for anxiety or to help with insomnia. (NIDA, 2018). Benzodiazepines can be deadly when used with opioids.
  • Among the more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017*, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths. Source: CDC WONDER
  • Initial research shows that communities with overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs have lower opioid overdose death rates. (NIDA 2018)

Programs:

Naloxone Awareness Program – Using our volunteer network, we reach out to pharmacies with a goal of facilitating increased access to naloxone under existing law. By simply asking about the policy for dispensing, we work to increase awareness, readiness to save lives, and reduce stigma. We also ask our volunteers to become educated about naloxone as a first aid measure, state rules for access, and commit to telling people about it.

Opioid Risk Campaigns – Hospitals and clinics play a vital role in eliminating overprescribing, overcoming opioid dependence, and promoting opioid safety among patients and healthcare providers. SAFE Project works with hospital systems and clinics to develop campaigns that reduce opioid risks through awareness and education.

SAFE Meds – SAFE increases awareness and safer behaviors around prescription medicines with downloadable fact sheets providing easy to understand information. SAFE Med Facts arm communities and families about safe use, disposal and questions you should ask healthcare providers and pharmacists to decrease risk to yourself and those you love.

Resources