Combating Opioid use at IU Health Frankfort

Death by drug overdose has increased in Indiana by 500 percent since 1999, and Indiana ranks 34th in the nation in drug deaths. Clinton County, like many rural counties, is facing the challenge of opioid use which continues to debilitate the economy by crippling the workforce. The IU Health Frankfort Hospital Emergency Department and Pharmacy teams are making huge strides to help combat the opioid crisis in the Clinton County community.  

Some of the IU Health Frankfort shining stars are Maci Mathews, RN, and Tricia Lohr, PharmD, along with Brandi Teyema, RN and the Emergency Department team. 

One of the most impressive facts is that this team has reduced the prescribed number of opioid pills coming out of the Emergency Department from 3,000 per month to less than 30.  

Providers are receiving training on best practices for controlled substance prescribing. Providers are only prescribing controlled medications to the appropriate patients for the shortest duration necessary from the Emergency Department. Chronic pain patients are receiving additional information and assistance with referrals to providers best suited to their needs outside of the ED. This evidence-based best practice is one of the many elements to help fight the opioid epidemic by decreasing the number of unnecessary tablets that can lead to opiate use disorders.  

Help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by turning in your unused or expired prescription medication for safe disposal. 

Unwanted, unused or expired medications should be deposited into the drug disposal box, much like a letter is dropped into a mailbox. All medications should be in one plastic container with personal information removed or crossed out. The prescription drug drop box may be accessed at IU Health Frankfort Hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week.