With Utah ranking 4th in the nation for unintentional prescription drug-related overdose deaths, Intermountain Healthcare’s McKay-Dee Hospital, Bonneville Communities That Care and the state’s prevention campaign, Use Only as Directed, have joined forces to educate the public about the health crisis and encourage Utahns to Speak Out, Opt Out and Throw Out their prescription opioid medications.
On Wednesday, August 31, at 11:00am at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, 4401 Harrison Blvd. in Ogden, leaders from Intermountain Healthcare will join with Bonneville Communities That Care and Weber County Commissioner Matt Bell to unveil a unique educational campaign. A massive “Message in 7,000 Bottles” non-traditional art installation, to be featured in the 4-story lobby of the hospital, will educate patrons to the fact that 7,000 opioid prescriptions are issued each day in Utah and will remind Utahns that while prescription pain medications can be a powerful, healing tool, it can take just seven days to develop a physical dependency to opioids. “Intermountain Healthcare is thrilled to be a part of this local community initiative that supports our commitment to patient safety. This prevention campaign is part of a three-pronged effort that includes public awareness, provider education and treatment services, which aims to reduce misuse and abuse of opioid prescription pain medications among our patients and within the communities in which we operate,” says Mikelle Moore, vice president of Community Benefit for Intermountain Healthcare.
Partners in the initiative aim to encourage Utahns to Speak Out, by having a conversation with their doctor about the potential risks of opioids and Opt Out of prescription pain medications in favor of other effective alternatives. CDC guidelines currently recommend opioids for cancer treatment, chronic pain lasting longer than three months or end-of-life palliative care. The partnership with McKay-Dee Hospital will also feature signage on elevators about the Five Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Opioids, and Throw Out messaging at the hospital’s Community Pharmacy directing patrons to the on-site, medication drop box for safe disposal of their leftover opioids.
A 12-year recovered addict to prescription pain pills will also speak, sharing his story about the long path back from addiction. While his message will detail the harsh consequences of substance abuse, it will also highlight the hope for recovery. “Opioid misuse is a community problem that requires a community solution. That’s why partnerships like this one are a crucial part of moving the needle with this epidemic. Bonneville Communities That Care has joined in this effort to help prevent substance abuse on the front lines of our communities through local outreach and education. By building a strong coalition between families, schools and youth we work to reduce the risk factors that often lead to substance abuse,” says Bonneville Communities That Care Board Chair Craig PoVey.
The Use Only As Directed campaign, a collaboration between federal, state, city, county and private businesses, was launched in 2008 and is dedicated to reducing unintentional overdose deaths by educating Utahns about the proper use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs via TV, radio, Internet and community outreach messages. For more information, visit UseOnlyAsDirected.org
Daron Cowley, Intermountain Healthcare
(801) 442 2834
Chris Dallin, McKay-Dee Hospital
(801) 209 2591
Lisa May, Use Only As Directed
(801) 209 5170