AAOA Joins Cleveland-Area Healthcare Community to Discuss Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention

CLEVELAND, Ohio, September 26, 2018 — Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) joined with healthcare leaders to learn how the prescription opioid epidemic is impacting patients and their families throughout the Cleveland area. The event, hosted by AAOA and its local partners, including the Cleveland Clinic, Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland, Cherished Companions Home Care, Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter, and the Ohio Council for Home & Hospice, featured speakers to discuss proactive steps the healthcare community can take to prevent further instances of opioid misuse and abuse.

“Ensuring proper management, storage and disposal of prescription drugs is critical to preventing the unintended misuse and abuse of these medicines, and is essential to stemming the opioid abuse epidemic in Ohio,” said Joe Russell, Executive Director for the Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice. “We are pleased to partner with Allied Against Opioid Abuse and other healthcare organizations in Cleveland to build on this national conversation and understand the important role we all play in preventing future misuse and abuse of prescription opioids.

AAOA is a national educational initiative focused on engaging stakeholders in the healthcare community to raise awareness and to collaborate on efforts to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids. AAOA has worked with its national partners to develop online resources to help patients, providers, pharmacists and the public understand the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids. Last week, AAOA and its pharmacy partners, including the Ohio Pharmacists Association, released a pharmacy toolkit to assist pharmacists as they engage with patients about the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids.

“AAOA is working to foster communication at the local level to help communities respond and react to the prescription opioid abuse epidemic,” said John Parker, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, AAOA’s founding member. “As this public health crisis continues to take its toll on families across Ohio, it is important for the healthcare community to work together and raise awareness about steps that can be taken to mitigate abuse and misuse of these pain medicines right here in the Cleveland area.”

The event also included a training on the best practices around the proper storage and safe disposal of prescription opioids. According to a recent national poll, only 22 percent of consumers reported that their healthcare provider or pharmacist has talked to them about safe storage or disposal of prescription opioids. This finding underscores the importance of patient-healthcare provider communication around the rights, risks and responsibilities related to prescription opioid use.

“We strive to make the disposal of prescription medication safe, easy and accessible for our patients and their families,” said Ellen S. Rome, MD, MPH, Head of the Center for Adolescent Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. “Join us by partnering to keep our families, homes, communities and water supply safe by properly disposing of any unused prescriptions at numerous local sites, including our Cleveland Clinic main campus pharmacy, Hillcrest Hospital, our Medina Hospital emergency department, and the Richard E. Jacobs Family Health Center in Avon.”

Additional disposal locations in the Cleveland area can be found using AAOA’s online database. To learn more about safely disposing of medications at home, which includes mixing unused pills in a sealable bag with used coffee grounds or kitty litter, visit www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org/Resources.

For all press inquiries, please contact Press@AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.

Colleen Jost, Program Manager at the Cleveland Clinic, joins healthcare leaders in Cleveland, Ohio, to discuss how the prescription opioid epidemic is impacting patients and their families throughout the Cleveland area.

About Allied Against Opioid Abuse

Allied Against Opioid Abuse is a national education and awareness initiative to help prevent abuse and misuse of prescription opioids. Founded by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the initiative is a collaborative effort with diverse partners across the pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as organizations that are experts in public health and healthcare, including Alliance for Aging Research, American Physical Therapy Association, BeMedWise, Caregiver Action Network, Gerontological Society of America, Healthcare Leadership Council, Men’s Health Network, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, National Community Pharmacists Association and the PA Foundation. Our goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by educating patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities. To learn more, visit www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org or follow us on Twitter: @AAOA_Tweets.