Patented Drug Deactivation Solution battles national opioid crisis.
On October 26, 2017, the President declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency triggering the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to provide recommendations and policy changes to prevent drug addictions and an estimated 140 Americans from dying each year as a result of a drug overdose. This is especially concerning for the veteran population considering veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to die from accidental overdoses of painkillers.
This statistic; however, is not surprising given that veterans experience more severe pain than nonveterans, which creates the need for drug intervention.
The President’s declaration came shortly after the release of the President’s Opioid Commission’s Interim Report released on July 31st, 2017. Along with the Commission’s interim recommendation to immediately increase treatment capacity, the Commission proposed to mandate prescriber education initiatives across the country to enhance prevention efforts. Finally, on November 1, 2017, the Commission released the official recommendations for the aggressive prevention and treatment of drug addiction that is prevalent in the United States.
Despite the recent legislation on the opioid crisis, the Department of Veterans Affairs was ahead of the fight against veteran drug addiction with a 2010 release of Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain (OT CPG), and again in February 2017, updated with more data and recommendations to improve patient care. The VA/DoD guidelines included many of the same recommendations the Commission proposed in their release.
Both the VA/DoD’s directive and the Commission encouraged patient education as a strategy to reduce patients’ risk of becoming addicted to prescription drugs. In addition, to enhance patient education and agency in their pain management, the Commission encouraged the use of drug deactivation bags by hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and any healthcare professional or provider distributing drugs. Providing patients with easy-to-use drug deactivation bags at the time of drug dispensing is the optimal moment to, “educate the patient on and encourage safe drug disposal,” states the Commission.
In fact, the Commission encourages hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies to become year-round authorized collectors of prescription drugs and drug deactivation bags are an effective tool to facilitate this effort to prevent drug addiction and discourage overdoses if drugs are no longer needed by the patient.
Drug deactivation bags, like the Deterra Drug Deactivation System, enable patients to safely dispose of unwanted—and unneeded—drugs in their homes, without assistance from a medical provider. Allowing patients the ability to take control of their pain management and discontinue the use of opioids effectively mitigates risk of drug addition, as well as reduces the opportunity for family members getting their hands on harmful medications.
Adhering to the Veteran Health Administration (VHA) and Military Health System’s (MHS) aim of proving a continuum of care, Deterra functions as a patient safety mechanism even when not in the presence of a physician. Deterra pouches are easy-to-use and renders drugs inert and safe for the environment using patented MAT12® technology. This powerful “take-home” technology is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who asserts that: preventing or stopping nonmedical use of prescription drugs is an important part of patient care.
Geo-Med, LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) medical and surgical supplier to the VHA and MHS supports the VA/DoD’s aim to improve veteran healthcare and reduce the risk of drug addiction and overdose by offering the Deterra solution.
“Anywhere there are drugs, Deterra should be,” emphasizes Cristen Shaver, Senior Sales Executive at Verde Technologies, Inc., maker of the Deterra® Drug Deactivation System.
Drug deactivation pouches can be stocked in all hospital settings, pharmacies, and in any healthcare facility that prescribes and distributes drugs and given to patients when they pick-up their prescription. Having drug deactivation technology in hospitals allows doctors and nurses to quickly deactivate and discard unused drugs from patients who are admitted; thereby, reducing the risk of the excess medication being returned to the patient when released.
The VA, the DoD, the Commission, and the NIDA all agree that battling the U.S. opioid crisis requires a multipronged approach and effort from multiple stakeholders, including the patients themselves. Drug addiction prevention can be encouraged through the use of patient education and awareness of the risk, as well as the elimination of drugs by patients using take-home drug deactivation systems.
Jessica Lynn Campbell is Geo-Med’s Sales and Marketing Operations Manager. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in English-Technical Communication, and is currently obtaining a PH. D. in Texts and Technology. Jessica is an experienced technical writer and has been published in both scholarly and media publications. Her primary research is health and medical communications. Jessica can be reached at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-810-7542.
Geo-Med, LLC is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) medical and surgical supplier to the Veteran Health Administration and Department of Defense medical facilities. Our primary focus is on providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service to our VA and DOD medical facilities.