CASA Pushes for Warning Labels on Prescriptions

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

It’s been noted that a large influence in the opioid epidemic has been the prescribing of opioid pain medications such as oxycontin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Many people who struggle with opioid addiction start with leftover medication from a family member, or misuse of a drug intended for medical purposes. For some,  the exposure can lead to the use of other opioids like heroin.

Nick LoConte, chairman of the Winthrop Board of Health, said the board is joining with CASA (Community Action for Safe Alternatives) to promote safe disposal of prescription medication to help stem the tide of opioid addiction.

“These informational stickers would be affixed to the prescription,” LoConte said. “All the local pharmacies are on board.”

Amy Epstein, director of CASA, said they are trying to get through CVS’s corporate red tape to use the labels. CASA is launching a petition drive and sending a letter with the Board of Health. There are nearby CVS stores on Woodside in Winthrop and Bennington Street in East Boston.

The goal is to be able to attach a small sticker to each prescription bag identifying prescription drop-off-locations. The goal of this initiative is to remove as many unused prescriptions from medicine cabinets as carefully as possible, Epstein said.

Epstein is hoping to get the letter out by the end of the month.

“The board is preparing a letter of support about how important this is to out local crisis to help move the corporate policy (with CVS),” said LoConte.

In Winthrop, privately owned pharmacies such as Brown’s and Samuels are already on board.

The state has already passed legislation reducing the amount of painkillers, opiates, prescribed.

 

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