Pharmacy on the front lines of a pandemic and an epidemic
Alison Haas, PharmD
Jackson Pharmacy & Wellness Center
As pharmacists, we have been on the front lines of the opioid epidemic for years. In Ohio, we unfortunately have one of the highest rates of death due to drug overdose. Because of the prevalence of opioid related drug overdoses in our state, CPESN Ohio decided to implement the Opioid Patient Safety Service Set throughout our network earlier this year. Little did we know, we would be on the front lines of a pandemic this year too.
Although there seems to be less discussion about the opioid epidemic in the news these days, we all know that it hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, there has been an increase in overdoses throughout the country since the pandemic started. The Flip the Pharmacy opioid focus comes at a critical time.
Many of us have seen the mental health implications of the pandemic on our patients and community. We are navigating struggles with anxiety, financial stress, isolation, and burnout. As the most accessible health care provider, we can play an important role in connecting our patients to resources and support. We also should be highlighting the risks of addiction related to opioid medication when counseling our patients.
It has been a challenging several months, but I am grateful to be part of the Flip the Pharmacy program. The resources and support from this community have been so helpful. Not only is my team benefiting but so are my patients.