NH launches Zero Left campaign to eliminate leftover prescription opioids

In response to the opioid crisis affecting the region, New Hampshire’s Granite Health announced the launch of the Zero Left campaign. The goal is to educate the public and provide services so that no “leftover” prescribed opioids end up in medicine cabinets where others can easily access them.

Granite Health members (Catholic Medical Center [CMC], Concord Hospital, Exeter Health Resources [EHR], LRGHealthcare [LRGH], Southern New Hampshire Health [SNHH], and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital [WDH]) have pledged to reduce the negative impact of prescription opioids through the new campaign.

“The goal of Zero Left is to reduce the number of left-over and unused opioids in our communities because 4 out of 5 people who become addicted to opioids begin with prescription opioids obtained from a provider or from leftover pills from a friend’s prescription,” Dr. William Goodman (Chief Medical Officer of CMC) said in an email to CMC staff.

The campaign has 3 components:

  1. CMC, LRGH, and WD will have medication take-back boxes installed in the hospital lobbies so that patients can easily dispose of unused opioids;
  2. CMC, EHR, LRGH, SNHH, and WDH will distribute opioid deactivation pouches and a patient education handout (ZeroLeft GHN) to post-surgical patients when prescribing opioids; and
  3. Opioid prescribing CMEs will be conducted locally and will be tailored to surgical and non-surgical specialties (will satisfy the NH Board of Medicine requirements).

 

The campaign will begin with the distribution of deactivation pouches, followed by the installation of the take-back boxes, and finally, in the fall, the provider CMEs will be held.

NH Governor Chris Sununu stated that this program  “will go a long way in helping our state prevent and combat addiction. These organizations are taking tangible steps towards combating the substance misuse crisis and should be commended.”

Zero Left is supported by a grant from Tufts Health Freedom Plan and Northeast Delta Dental.