Could innovative prescription bottles help people battling substance use? This is a question the Union County Drug Overdose Prevention Coalition in close partnership with Lower Lights Christian Health Center-Union Star and several locally owned pharmacies are exploring. The Coalition and its partners are piloting an effort to offer SafeRx locking prescription pill bottles to local residents receiving Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD).
MOUD is an evidence-based method of treating substance use disorder and helps to break the cycle of addiction. However, in Union County, professionals helping people fight substance use have noticed many barriers to individuals receiving MOUD. One barrier is fear of medication being stolen or misused by others. The SafeRx bottle provides a solution to reduce the risk of diversion or medication theft. The locked container allows medication to be secure at home and on the go – an important component given MOUD treatment requires medication to be taken at the same time each day. The locked pill bottle also offers clients validation that their medication is legally being prescribed and monitored by health care professionals.
According to Clinical Director of Addiction Services at Lower Lights Christian Health Center, Sarah Channell MS, APRN, NP-C, “we are educating first responders, law enforcement, and other providers within the community to promote the use of locking pill bottles for all controlled addiction treatment medications. We are working on barriers with the retail pharmacies and the independent pharmacies are very excited about this pilot project and we continue to advocate for medication safety within our community for all people.”
Three local pharmacies and three local treatment providers have agreed to join the Coalition’s pilot project including Dave’s Pharmacy, Richwood Pharmacy, the Plain City Druggist, Lower Lights Christian Health Center, Maryhaven, and Lighthouse Behavioral Solutions.