Uniting in the fight against the opioid epidemic

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The towns of Granby, East Granby and Hartland have joined in launching a Change the Script initiative. Change the Script is the Connecticut Targeted Response Initiative to the opioid epidemic. While I am glad to report that we do not seem to have a widespread problem with our youth abusing opioid drugs, we sadly do have community members in the older age groups struggling with this problem. We have lost lives to this epidemic in our community; we should all take part in fighting it. This epidemic often starts at home.

Teach your little ones that medicines should ALWAYS be taken as directed, and prescriptions are ONLY safe when taken by the person the doctor prescribes them for. This is a point of misconception even for adults. Just because it is a prescription drug it is not safe to use recreationally or not as prescribed. Even over-the-counter medications can be deadly if not used according to directions.

Most youth who do experiment with prescription drugs do so with medications they find at home. A good way to start is to clean out your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of unused drugs.

Next, engage your doctor in a discussion of alternate pain management options and make informed decisions about what drugs to use following surgery. While opioids have an important place in management of chronic and severe pain, there are alternatives that may be just as effective in a variety of situations. Make an informed decision.

If you know someone with an addiction to opioids, find out what treatment options are available and learn about Naloxone. Naloxone helps save lives when administered to someone overdosing, and families can get a prescription for the drug simply by asking for it at the local pharmacy.

Please join us for a panel presentation on March 21 at the Granby Youth Service/Senior Center to explore.