JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 2, 2018 — Today, community members and public health leaders gathered in Jacksonville for a training on safe storage and disposal of prescription opioids. The event, hosted by Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) and Drug Free Duval, was the first of several engagements designed to support and coordinate opioid prevention efforts across local organizations in Florida.
With the launch of its campaign last month, AAOA is convening partners at the national and local levels to identify where collaborative efforts can make a meaningful difference in preventing opioid abuse and misuse in communities. Drug Free Duval has taken a leading role in Jacksonville to raise awareness about addiction and promote best practices around the proper storage and safe disposal of opioid pain medicines.
“It takes a community to fight opioid addiction and abuse, and we’re thrilled to have Allied Against Opioid Abuse as a partner in that challenge,” said Susan Pitman, Executive Director of Drug Free Duval. “Drug Free Duval’s mission is prevention, and the next life saved from overdose could be from the training and resources made possible through AAOA’s support.”
One of the key factors driving the opioid epidemic is the prevalence of patients obtaining prescription medicines from a friend or family member without a prescription or clinical recommendation from their doctor. At the event, Drug Free Duval trainers outlined the need for family members and community leaders to take active steps to prevent misuse of opioids at home by safely storing and disposing opioid medications.
“Stemming the tide of opioid misuse and abuse takes all of us, and starts with education,” said Shelley Katz, Vice President of Operations for Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems. “From safe storage and disposal to pain management, it’s critical to increase awareness for the public, health providers and caregivers. Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems is committed to this goal, and we are grateful that Allied Against Opioid Abuse is too — evidenced by their efforts to not only educate, but find solutions.”
To help raise awareness about safe disposal and storage methods, AAOA developed a fact sheet with recommendations on how to store pain medicines safely and securely, as well as an online search tool that allows users to search for medicine disposal resources and locations by state. AAOA has a full suite of resources about safe storage, disposal and a patient’s rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids available at www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.org/Act.
“Community engagement is essential to combating the prescription opioid abuse epidemic,” said John Parker, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, AAOA’s founding partner. “Allied Against Opioid Abuse is proud to partner with Drug Free Duval and the North Florida Opioid Task Force, and support the great work they are doing in the state.”
For all press inquiries, please contact Press@AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.
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 Caregiver Action Network, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Council on Patient Information and Education 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.
Drug Free Duval is a community coalition comprised of residents, providers, advocates and educators all working together to prevent and reduce substance misuse and underage drinking in Duval County. The Coalition members offer data and evidence-based prevention strategies and serve as educational resources for residents with the ultimate goal of creating a drug-free community in Duval County.