Last week, Attorney General Ashley Moody met with representatives of several Florida associations within the medical field to discuss the national opioid crisis that continues to claim lives in Florida.
Moody and the medical association representatives met via GoToMeeting. Discussions focused on advancements in the fight to end the opioid epidemic, materials available to help spread awareness and how patients can safely store and dispose of unused or expired prescription opioids.
“The perception is that opioid users make back-alley deals to buy illegal substances from shady drugs dealers, but today’s user is more likely to gain access to opioids from a friend or family member—either by simply asking or by pillaging through medicine cabinets for unused or expired prescription opioids. As part of today’s meeting, we discussed resources for patients to use to learn about safely storing and disposing of unwanted prescriptions and how we can best work together to spread the word about these best practices to stop drug abuse and save lives,” Moody said.
“Often, once a patient has healed, they don’t think to call their medical professional to discuss what to do with leftover medication, and that is why I am encouraging patients and medical professionals alike to utilize the resources on our webpage, DoseOfRealityFL.com. This online tool is full of information to help Floridians join our fight to end the opioid crisis and build a Stronger, Safer Florida,” she added.
During the meeting, Moody shared information about the Florida Attorney General’s comprehensive resource for fighting the opioid crisis in Florida, DoseOfRealityFL.com. The online tool is a one-stop shop of information about opioid addiction, resources and treatment to use for businesses, caregivers, educators, medical professionals, parents, seniors, service members, students, veterans and others.
Recently, the Florida Attorney General’s Office added downloadable brochures with information about safe storage and disposal of unused or expired prescription opioid drugs to the site. Tips from DoseOfRealityFL.com include:
- Understanding the purpose of a prescription and do not be afraid to ask the prescribing physician follow-up questions, including if a non-narcotic is available;
- Do not share prescription painkillers or other medications with anyone;
- Never taking someone else’s prescription medication;
- When picking up a prescription, read and examine the label; and
- Taking medications only for as long as necessary and never more than directed.
Additionally, the online tool provides Floridians a map of safe drug-take back disposal sites available throughout the state, many of which are still open and accepting take backs even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moody requested that the medical associations share this life-saving information with association members with the goal of helping educate patients who may not know how to safely dispose of or store prescription drugs—thus reducing the supply of unnecessary opioids in Florida.