Pharmacy Students Educate Public on Safe Opioid Use and Disposal
Over 200 Pharmacy students were at 35 community pharmacy sites in Washtenaw County on August 28, educating people on safe opioid use, storage, and disposal. Students discussed opioid abuse, resources for help, and the opioid overdose reversal aid Naloxone.
Opioid abuse continues to be a pressing health concern in Michigan. The Community Connect day serves as an opportunity for Pharmacy students to use their expertise to help alleviate the opioid crisis. Students were out in CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid, and Walgreens pharmacies in the U-M campus community.
“The goal of Community Connect Day is to provide general information to the campus community about opioids, opioid abuse, and resources for more information and help,” said Stephen Vallely, P2. “Generally, we are trying to spread awareness and provide information.”
“This is important information for the public to know,” added Tamunobelema Somiari, P1. “Over seven Michiganders died from an opioid overdose each day in 2017. Even if you are not personally affected by opioids, it may effect someone in your family, workplace, or community. The more you know, the more you will be able to prevent opioid misuse from happening.”
“Michigan is 10th in the nation for number of opioid prescriptions,” noted Sydnee Cohen, P3. “It is important for people to know what opioids are prescribed for, what is an appropriate acute vs. long-term therapy, and what tolerance vs. abuse looks like. Some patients are afraid to take their medication because they are worried about becoming addicted. Opioids do have legitimate reasons for being prescribed, but patients should know the risks and when to be concerned or seek help.”
“As future healthcare providers, Pharmacy students should be out engaging with the public,” said Kim Pais, P3. “Pharmacists play a major role in helping alleviate the opioid crisis. As students, we need to understand our patients perspectives, which will help us become better providers.”
For more information on opioids and the event, visit the College’s opioid awareness page.