“Talk About Your Medicines” Month is a great time to organize a safe medicine use communication program for the general public, patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, community businesses and social/service organizations, clubs and health fairs. This October (and beyond) the BeMedWise Program urges you to encourage every consumer, patient, and caregiver in your community to take action to prevent opioid medicine misuse and abuse. Here are some ideas and links to resources to get started.
- Organize a Taking Action to Address Opioid Misuse and Abuse coalition and community meeting. Invite groups representing first responders, parents, teens, young adults, schools, businesses, local government, treatment and recovery services. For suggestions on building a community coalition see: AgainstOpioidAbuse.org and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CDCA.org).
- Host a medication check-up event at your clinic, pharmacy, library, school, community college, adult education class, senior center or retirement community. Use [link to SM section] social-media or post flyers to promote your event. Tell attendees to bring all of their medications, so they can be reviewed for possible drug interactions, no longer being used or expired. Help attendees learn best practices for [link to TAYM.org tips/resources) safe disposal of medications and remind them to always keep their medications Up and Away (Put Your Medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight).
- Contact your local television (or radio) station’s public affairs director, and offer to provide speakers for their community issues programs during October. The program’s topic could be “Educate Before You Medicate: Knowledge is the Best Medicine – Learn About Safe Opioid Use and Disposal.” Speakers could be healthcare professionals, healthcare professional students, health educators, health reporters, communication experts, hospital risk managers, and/or industry and managed care patient education representatives. Click here for free downloadable resources on BeMedWise.org.
- Contribute an “Educate Before You Medicate” article or column to your community newspaper, employee e-newsletter, employer website, blog, or religious bulletin. Modify the article “What are Opioids” or write your own tips for safe medicine use (see “Talk About Your Medicines” Month Archive for ideas). (If you use a BeMedWise article or download, please acknowledge BeMedWise and refer readers to Opioid Awareness.