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Families Against Narcotics calls for support of Locking Prescription Vial legislation

The Monroe Evening News - 5/16/2018

n HB 5857 would help reduce teen opioid pilfering.

GRAND RAPIDS — The statewide community support and advocacy group Families Against Narcotics (FAN) recently announced its support for HB 5857 and urged legislators across the state to pass this important legislation without delay.

“This legislation will help to reduce the number of Michigan children and teens that start abusing prescription pills by making it harder for them to pilfer from the family medicine cabinet,” said Judge Linda Davis, executive president of FAN. “I am proud to stand in full support of this bill and sincerely hope that legislators across the state will join together to approve it without delay. We need all hands on deck to make sure HB 5857 becomes law because it will save lives.”

Pilfering is the act of stealing someone else’s prescription medication for recreational use with the hope that it will go undetected. Pilfering has been identified as the leading source of youth opioid abuse, and studies show each year nearly 600,000 children from across the country initiate prescription drug abuse by pilfering.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), the legislation would require opioids and other highly addictive Schedule II drugs to be dispensed in locking prescription vials. Experts believe the measure would prevent 150,000 young people from initiating drug abuse.

The ineffective and outdated child-resistant prescription vials currently in use have not been modified in nearly 50 years. When the Federal Poison Prevention Packaging Act was enacted and child-resistant vials were designed in 1970, the goal was to prevent children younger than 5 from gaining access to aspirin. Today, the medicines being prescribed for pain management are nearly 80 times stronger than morphine.

“With chapters across the state, Families Against Narcotics is on the front lines, helping people directly impacted by this epidemic,” said Davis. “By modernizing the outdated packaging used to dispense and store opioids, this bill will have a tremendous positive impact.

saving lives in communities statewide and saving millions in health care costs.”

 
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