On an average day in 2011, there were 2,056 drug-related Emergency Department (ED) visits by older adults, of which 290 involved illegal drug use, alcohol in combination with other drugs, or nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals. Nonmedical use includes ED visits where the patient misused a medication, took more than the prescribed dose of a medication, took a medication prescribed for another individual, or was poisoned by another person. In Arizona, 1,270 people age 65 and older died of drug-induced causes between the years of 1999 and 2017. To combat these alarming issues, PGCSC has developed a medication misuse prevention coalition called CHAMMP (Coalition to improve Health and increase Awareness of Medication Management through Prevention), which focuses on older adults and their caregivers. By providing education and information to older adults and their caregivers about the safe use, storage and disposal of medications, we can improve the health and lives of senior citizens and the communities where they live. PGCSC offers:
- Medication Safety Bags, which contain information and educational tools, are provided to older adults and caregivers.
- Medication information cards, which are to be completed and placed on refrigerators for emergency responder use, are distributed throughout pharmacies, physician offices , and other areas throughout Pinal County where older adults frequent. Along with these are cards which provide a listing of current unused/expired medication drop-off sites in Pinal County.