The Deterra team joined more than 1,000 healthcare providers, public health officials, law enforcement representatives and community leaders in Minneapolis last Tuesday to discuss Minnesota’s growing prescription drug abuse problem and how we can work together to reverse the trends. The Pain. Pill. Problem. summit featured high-profile guests including Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Tom Emmer, who specifically highlighted Deterra as a key solution.
Prior to the conference, we met with former California congresswoman and drug abuse prevention advocate Mary Bono to discuss the need for Deterra and to learn more about new national initiatives.
The stage set with compelling personal stories of individuals – including marathon runner and author/speaker Dick Beardsley – and doctors, the summit turned its focus forward to how the many stakeholders in the prescription drug abuse issue can work together on prevention. Presenters and attendees discussed solutions along the continuum of the problem, from educating healthcare providers on safe prescribing practices to ensuring those with addiction challenges have access to effective treatment.
Safe disposal of unwanted and unneeded prescription drugs was highlighted repeatedly as a critical piece of the puzzle. Dr. Jeff Schiff, Medical Director for Minnesota Health Care Programs at the Department of Human Services, laid out the State Opioid Project’s seven strategies, including the opportunity for safe prescription drug disposal. Senator Klobuchar echoed the need for a safe – and environmentally friendly – disposal solution. And Congressman Emmer told attendees that Deterra’s drug deactivation and disposal technology is the “missing part of the solution.”
We look forward to continuing the productive conversations we had with summit attendees and working hard to get the Deterra System into healthcare and community settings that are key to prevention.