Kohl’s Cares Project
Michigan has significantly higher death rates due to overdose compared to states in the rest of the US. In our local county (Washtenaw) there has been a 1500% increase in substance abuse death rates. As such Substance use disorders as a major priority in our most recent CHNA report. Children are particularly vulnerable to opioid dependence, misuse, and abuse. Opioid prescribing and nonmedical prescription opioid use has increased dramatically among children over the past two decades in the United States. Current efforts to curb prescription opioid use are largely palliative and focused on adults with limited education for patients, families and prescribers. Most opioids are prescribed following a surgical procedures and we know that 80% of prescribed opioids remain unused, and only 23% of patients report disposing excess opioid medications. Therefore, large amounts remain in the community. To address this problem, the aims/strategy of this project is to reduce pain medication prescribing, increase parent/caregiver education regarding opioid use and disposal and developing programs that allow surgeons to tailor postoperative opioid prescriptions based on key patient factors.