Marana Health Center giving away "lock boxes" to combat opioid a - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Marana Health Center giving away "lock boxes" to combat opioid abuse

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MARANA - MHC Healthcare is fighting against the opioid abuse epidemic by providing lock boxes free of charge to patients who prescribe to potentially addictive drugs.

The MHC Healthcare foundation funded the purchase of 90 medicine lock boxes to begin rolling out to patients.

"This will help to secure the medicine for the patient and keep the medicine out of the wrong hands,” said Dr. Greg Redding, MHC Healthcare pharmacy director.

Redding noted the absence of any type of medicine security is a possible recipe for disaster.

"Somebody sees it in there who may have a drug problem of their own and they take some of the medication, it's stronger than what they're used to taking, then they're in real trouble,” Redding said.

Since June 15, 2017, the Arizona state health department has recorded nearly 1,000 suspected opioid deaths and over 6,300 overdoses.

According to the Journal of Pediatrics, the number of children admitted to hospitals for opioid overdoses almost doubled between 2004 and 2015 – jumping from 800 to a little more than 1,500 cases.  

"It's a significant issue and it's affecting not just our communities but our families,” said Jon Reardon, who serves as MHC Healthcare’s director of behavioral health.

There’ve been numerous efforts on the national and state level to address the opioid crisis.

Reardon insists public education continues to be one of the big components.

He stressed it’s vital to keep the prescription drugs locked away, out of sight and ensure they’re properly disposed of when no longer needed.

"Get them out of our hands and out of the opportunities for people to use or misuse those substances. Knowing what the impact is, knowing what we can do to avoid it, hopefully it will lead to better choices, better decisions and better outcomes for everybody in our community.”

To learn more, click https://mhchealthcare.org/

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