Auburn University School of Pharmacy Helping State of Alabama Combat Prescription Drug Problem
According to reports, Alabama has the highest level of prescription opioid use in the country.
That’s why the School of Pharmacy at Auburn University brought together those facing this problem head on to brainstorm ways to combat the issue.
“It’s a multifaceted issue and we are hoping to stay on top of it,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
Law enforcement officials have seen the prescription drug problem in the state of Alabama increasingly become worse over the years.
“We anticipate it will. That’s why we want to stay ahead of the issue through enforcement actions and making people aware that there is an issue there and we need to deal with it,” said Sheriff Jones.
According to statistics, in 2015, more than 700 Alabamians died of opioid overdoses and more than 5 million opioid prescriptions were written in Alabama.
That’s why Auburn University wants to help combat the problem as well.
The School of Pharmacy received a grant, funded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs with additional support from the Alabama Department of Public Health, to host a conference for those who usually intervene in drug matters: law enforcement, first responders and health care professionals.
“When we get the results from the conference, we will see what they think should be done next and where they think they can fit in solving problem based on their professional role,” said Dr. Brent Fox, Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy at Auburn University.
Those involved told us more than 1,000 pharmacists, physicians, nurses, first responders, social workers and law enforcement officials learned more about their role in combating the abuse problem.
“Our hopes for the conference was to start discussion between professions and get collaboration going. We had those conversations and partnerships that left the program are brainstorming and working together in ways they haven’t before,” said Amanda Fowler, Academic Administrator for Office of Post Graduate Education in School of Pharmacy.
With all of them involved, they feel that they can get a handle on the problem, so addictions, abuse and deaths can be prevented.
The grant lasts for a year, and after the school gets these results back, they hope to hold another conference like this again in the future.