Attorney General's Mobile Office Visits Piggott
The Clay County Extension Service office, in Piggott, hosted a visit from Atty. General Leslie Rutledge's mobile office on Tuesday, July 24. During the visit Tim Johnson, a representative of the AG, fielded questions from the public concerning scams and other consumer issues. Johnson also handed out literature concerning the programs offered through the AG's office.
The event also included a drug-take-back effort, with the Attorney General's office working in concert with Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller and his department. During the event, a small shopping bag of outdated drugs were turned-in, helping keep local residents and the environment safer.
Lisa Perry, Director of Prevention Services for Crowley's Ridge Development Council, was also on hand at the event. She passed out information on their services, and provided free “TimerCap” prescription bottles to those attending. She indicated the CRDC had acquired thousands of the bottles, and are in the process of distributing them across the region—at no charge.
“The TimerCap bottles have an LCD digital timer built into the top,” she explained. “It provides the owner an accurate record of the last time the bottle was opened. This will help people keep up with when, or if, they've taken their medications. You can also see if someone else has opened the bottle, which can be very important when dealing with certain drugs and situations.”
Perry noted the timers re-set to 0 each time the cap is opened, and runs up to 100 hours.
Information provided by Perry indicates that according to the World Health Organization, more than 125,000 deaths each year in the United States alone are attributed to patients not taking their medications as directed. Poor patient medication adherence is also the primary reason seniors are admitted early into assisted living facilities, prematurely losing their independence, and is also the cause of more than $300 billion in increased healthcare costs and more than $200 billion in lost pharmaceutical revenue.
“Quite simply, the problem is that less than 50 percent of patients take their medications as directed, with the biggest cause for that being forgetfulness,” she surmised “It doesn't require any change in patient behavior and has been proven to help patients take their medication as prescribed by more than one-third.”
The TimerCaps also serve as a key component of the CRDC's Opioid Abuse Prevention Kits, and are now being distributed across Northeast Arkansas. Those wanting information on the caps, or the programs of the CRDC, may visit their Facebook page at CRDC: Prevention.
Johnson also noted the AG's office is providing a new product designed to help with the disposal of prescription drugs, without having to locate an authorized drop-off location.
“We're now providing DisposeRX to people, working with the Walmart Pharmacy system,” Johnson explained. “For those who have prescription medication they want to dispose of, all they have to do is open one of the little packets and empty the contents into the pill bottle. Add a little warm water, and shake it for a bit and it will be safe for disposal.”
The AG's office is providing the DisposeRX packets at no charge, and according to Walmart they're distributing them with each opioid prescription.
Information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, indicates more than 65 percent of people misusing prescription opioids get them from family and friends, and personal prescriptions are one of the main sources of nonmedical opioid abuse. The manufacturer of the product notes it provides a virtually effortless way for patients to destroy leftover opioids--without ever leaving home.
Under the program, DisposeRX is being made available through all of the 4,700 Walmart pharmacies in the nation, along with awareness brochures and patient counseling.
Distributing the packets to the state's residents is a part of Rutledge's “Prescription For Life” program.
Johnson also distributed information on Internet and tech safety, advice for homeowners, landlords and tenants and information on credit and finances.
Those wanting additional information may visit AG Rutledge's website at https://arkansasag.gov