Strategies for addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic often include discussions of reducing or restricting access to opioids. It's important that conversation however address community members who have a genuine need for prescription pain medications. Prescription pain medication can become increasingly important for aging Coloradans to maintain a good quality of life. Sixty-five percent of U.S. seniors use three or more prescription medications, according to AARP. In 2016, 30 percent of Delta patients ages 55 and older received five or more opioid prescriptions. Helping area seniors find ways to securely store and safely dispose of these medications also plays an important role in reducing the potential for medications to be accidentally misused or end up in someone else's hands.
Region 10 is partnering with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to pilot a new effort to educate seniors about safely using, storing, and disposing of prescription medication. Positive steps like keeping medications in your home out of sight and away from visitors can make a difference. While a bathroom medicine cabinet seems like the logical place to keep meds, a guest in your home could take your pills without you knowing. Instead, keep medications out of view in a drawer or cabinet in a common room anytime you're expecting guests. Safely disposing of medication that you're no longer taking gets it out of your home and eliminates any risk of misuse. You can drop-off unused and expired medications any time at a permanent disposal site in Delta. These are located at:
• Delta County Sheriff's Office, 555 Palmer Street.
• Cedaredge Pharmacy, 210 SE Independence Avenue.
• Hotchkiss Marshal's Office, 276 W. Main Street.