The numbers are staggering.
Over 11 million Americans abused opioids in the last year. 80% of all heroin addicts began by using prescription painkillers. And for the first time, people are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from an automobile accident.
As the father of two young children, this growing crisis isn’t just alarming; it’s downright terrifying. Because the substance most widely abused by 12-13 year-olds isn’t tobacco or alcohol or marijuana. It’s prescription medication. And for teens, the #1 source of prescription medications is the family medicine cabinet.
Watching helplessly as the opioid epidemic grew exponentially over the past decade, I found my frustration growing as well. You see, in addition to being a parent, I’m also a practicing physician who deals with prescription narcotics on a daily basis. In the hospital setting, these drugs are tightly controlled using a combination of biometric locks, video monitoring, and daily inventory audits. And yet, the moment pain medications are dispensed from a pharmacy, they become an easy target for diversion and abuse.
For years, my wife – also a healthcare professional – listened patiently to my exasperated protests. Finally, she’d heard enough. “Why don’t you stop complaining and do something about it,” she asked.
Of course, there were scores of good reasons why I couldn’t. But none were more compelling than why I should. After all, the most important answers were right across the hall, asleep in their beds, as I was weighing the question.
So began the long and arduous process of developing a simple, cost-effective solution to the problem of unauthorized access to prescription opioids. Countless amounts of time and money were invested in research, design, engineering, testing, education and outreach. Looking back, the hard work and dedication of our team was more than worth it. Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles have been widely recognized as a valuable breakthrough by physicians, pharmacists, lawmakers and consumers.
The opioid epidemic is a complex and multi-faceted problem. And Safe Rx is certainly not a “magic bullet” solution. It is, however, a smart and simple way to place an effective barrier in front of the gateway to addiction.
The road to making our homes, schools and communities safe for the next generation, and generations to come, will be a lengthy and challenging one. We invite you to join us in taking this important first step on the journey.
Sean Serell, M.D., Founder and Chairman