The epidemic of substance abuse and drug overdose deaths in the U.S. is a national health emergency. People who suffer from drug addiction as well as people who smoke, vape or use opioids or methamphetamine are at an even greater risk during the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Nora Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and offers additional insight in her Annals of Internal Medicine into the unique challenges COVID-19 poses to people who are suffering from addiction or are in recovery.
We already know that people who smoke or vape are at an increased risk for more severe complications from COVID-19. People who use opioids or methamphetamine are also at an increased risk of complications as opioid use increases the risk of hypoxemia causing slowed breathing. This can lead to severe pulmonary and cardiac complications include overdose and death. Everyone should take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19, especially people in these high risk groups.
Social Distancing Hinders Social Support
With the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders spread across the country, a very important element of support is no longer available for people in recovery. If someone overdoses while home alone, the chance of someone available to administer Naloxone decreases dramatically. The opportunity for people to see their physician and obtain important medications such as methadone or buprenorphine is also dramatically decreased. Social distancing could potentially result in more fatalities due to drug overdose deaths.
Challenges with Telemedicine
Many healthcare providers are delivering patient care via telemedicine avenues either over a computer, smart phone or tablet to help protect patients and staff from exposure to coronavirus. Telemedicine poses challenges to doctors and patients alike as physicians hope they do not miss a diagnosis during a virtual meeting. Patients may not have been able to see their doctor at all if they do not offer virtual telemedicine options which is the case in smaller or rural communities.
Importance of Safe and Compliant Drug Disposal
The entire U.S. healthcare system is dealing with many distinct challenges to deliver patient care while facing strains with staff and supplies. It is critically important to maintain a proper chain of custody and controlled substance waste programs during this pandemic to prevent drug diversion in healthcare settings. Facility administrators must remain vigilant in enforcing proper pharmaceutical waste systems with limited resources.
Rx Destroyer™ understands the need for quick and easy drug disposal in busy hospital settings including operating rooms where efficiency is crucial. This is why we offer a safe, easy and affordable drug disposal solution that helps physicians and nursing staff to comply with pharmaceutical waste regulations without time-consuming disposal methods.
We partner with our customers to educate on the most recent DEA and EPA regulations and offer an easy solution with a wide range of drug disposal containers in convenient sizes. Our easy-to-use patented formula quickly renders medications non-retrievable, eliminating instances for drug diversion.
Rx Destroyer™ offers complete drug disposal compliance with seamless integration and on-site training. We provide industry insight and best practices to many healthcare settings with simple drug disposal solutions. Learn more about our easy to use drug disposal solutions which prevent drug diversion and protect healthcare staff and patients.