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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Are You the Only One Taking Your Medicine?

On June 10, The Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM) today launched a new educational tool – “Are You the Only One Taking Your Medicine?” —  that consumers and health care providers can use to assess whether a home is at risk for medication misuse, abuse or diversion. The tool also includes tips for how to monitor, safeguard and properly dispose of prescription medicines, including pain medicines, to minimize the risk of inappropriate use.
This free tool can be accessed at http://alliancebpm.org/asset/2015-06-03-afbpm-checklist-pdf  

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 60 to 70 percent of teens say home medicine cabinets are their source of drugs. Furthermore, each year an estimated 71,000 children 18 and younger are seen in U.S. emergency departments for unintentional medication poisonings.
“While pain management, including prescription pain medicine when appropriate, is important, it’s critical to be aware of the potential for medicine abuse in the home,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, interim President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and AfBPM Steering Committee member. 

“Two thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family or acquaintances. This new tool will help people understand what they can do to ‘mind their meds’ so that teens and others in their life won’t have access to their prescription medication.”
Access to integrated pain management, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, psychological counseling, social support, medication and other complementary approaches, can help manage acute and chronic pain. If medications are prescribed, AfBPM encourages people to speak with their health care providers to ensure they take their medication properly and to store and dispose of it appropriately to help avoid unintended consequences, such as misuse, abuse or diversion.

AfBPM is a diverse collective of health care advocacy groups, patient organizations, industry representatives and other stakeholders with a mission to support both the appropriate access to integrated pain management and the responsible use of prescription pain medicines with an aim to reduce abuse and enhance patient safety. Member organizations and resources for balanced pain management can be found at www.AllianceBPM.org.