Catholic Medical Center (CMC) was proud to host Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH), New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steve Ahnen, Zero Left founders Jean and Jim Moser, and others Thursday for the launch of a statewide opioid reduction initiative.
The newly-formed Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) New Hampshire brings together state and national partners to educate the public about the safe disposal of leftover prescription drugs. It expands the components of the successful Zero Left campaign from a handful of hospitals to facilities across the state. Jean and Jim Moser created Zero Left after they lost a son to a drug overdose. The program provides education about safe drug disposal, as well as drug deactivation packets for surgical patients who are prescribed opioids and drug take back boxes in hospital lobbies. Since installing a drug take back box in the hospital lobby in July, 2017, CMC has collected 500 pounds of leftover prescription pills.
“We must educate the public about the dangers of these medications,” said CMC President & CEO Joseph Pepe, MD. “Prescription drugs in our medicine cabinets pose a direct threat to our loved ones, friends and family. Therefore, we must ensure a proper, safe and easy way to dispose of them.”
CMC was an early adopter of the Zero Left campaign and applauds the RALI effort to apply this successful program statewide. For more information about the alliance’s effort, visit ralinh.org.
Thursday’s press conference came a week after the State of New Hampshire announced plans for a hub-and-spoke system to help people find and sustain recovery. CMC has been asked to take the lead for the Manchester-area hub in coordinating resources for individuals and families. These resources could range from medication assisted treatment (MAT) and medical care to job training and housing needs. State officials have said they anticipate launching the hub system early next year, pending federal approval.
“We didn’t get into this epidemic alone, and we won’t get out of it alone, either,” said Dr. Pepe. “Whether it’s the State of New Hampshire, healthcare organizations, local communities, or alliances like RALI, collaboration is most essential in ending the opioid crisis.”