It could not be a simpler product: embedded into a generic prescription bottle cap is a timer. The cap can be used on any prescription bottle, and it automatically resets and begins counting from zero every time the pill bottle is opened.
What is the benefit of this design? For those who are taking prescription medications to manage chronic pain, the idea is that it will help them to more closely monitor their day-to-day use of addictive painkillers.
That is, rather than guessing when it was that they last took a dose of their medication, they can just look at the cap of their pill bottle and see the last time it was opened. For those taking extended-release medications or medications to be taken as needed but not to exceed a certain amount in a 24-hour period, it can be helpful in ensuring that someone does not inadvertently overdose by taking too much too soon.
For some, this can be a lifesaver, helping them to avoid a truly inadvertent overuse of highly potent medications. For others, it can serve as a wakeup call when the timer points out the overuse of the addictive medication in black and white.
The makers of the product believe so much in it that they want to make it free of charge to everyone who has a prescription for an addictive medication. In fact, they are lobbying legislators to help make that happen, with the goal of cutting down on the rate of overdose deaths in Nevada and across the country.
Is this a step in the right direction?
No Cure in Sight
The fact is that until there is a cure for addiction, it will take a comprehensive approach to effectively address the problem. Tools like the timer cap may help some people to avoid overdose and/or the development of an opiate addiction, while others who are already living with an acknowledged opiate drug dependence will benefit from the use of fentanyl test strips, clean needle exchanges, and other harm reduction efforts.
A combination of prevention efforts, harm reduction efforts, education among professions who come into contact with people who are struggling with addiction, and increased access to treatment for the individual as well as their families are necessary to truly create positive change in the opiate epidemic. If the timer cap is an effective tool for anyone living with chronic pain, then it is more than a step in the right direction – it is literally a lifesaver.
The timer cap is one in a long line of many new updates and offerings that have sprung up from the genuine interest of a nation in addressing the skyrocketing rates of opiate overdose deaths across the country. Across the country, work is being done to address how best to handle those who are arrested for drug-related crimes with an effort to reduce recidivism rates and increase rates of rehabilitation. Additionally, the country has been hotly debating healthcare issues and how best to make sure that those in need are able to connect with drug addiction treatment services even if they do not have the money to pay without financially overburdening American families.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to proactively addressing the addiction epidemic, but with continued vigilance, we will continue to identify what works and what doesn’t, and continue connecting individuals and families in crisis with the help they need.
What Does Your Family Need to Heal?
If your loved one is living with an opiate addiction, a timer cap may not be the appropriate intervention measure for your family. For those who are dependent on or addicted to street drugs of any kind, urgent treatment is recommended. This will provide for:
- Cessation of use of all substances of addiction
- Medical and psychological evaluation and assessment to identify all co-occurring disorders
- Personalized treatment plans based on individual need
- Peer support through support groups and community building
- Family education and counseling
- Aftercare and ongoing support
In partial hospitalization programs, outpatient treatment, and inpatient drug rehabs, it is possible to find meaningful and effective treatment. The key is personalization of treatment, persistence, and long-term support.
Are you ready to take the next steps so your loved one can begin the healing process?