The opioid crisis is still ongoing, with thousands of people dying from overdosing on prescription medications. Walmart and Sam’s Club are aware of the problem and have therefore decided to provide a solution through changes in their policies. Hopefully, the response Walmart and Sam’s Club have had to the opioid crisis will inspire other pharmacies to follow suit.

Spotting Fraudulent or Inappropriate Opioid Prescriptions

Starting at the beginning of the year, Walmart and Sam’s Club will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances. These e-prescriptions are designed to be less prone to errors, cannot be altered or copied, and are electronically trackable. Pharmacists will have access to the tracking tool, NarxCare, in states that allow access. The company also conducts opioid training and education for its pharmacists, such as a pain management curriculum. Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists are also trained to check for any red flags before refilling a prescription.

Providing Education About Opioid Use for Customers and Youth 

Walmart and Sam’s Club customers receive an opioid safety information brochure whenever they pick up a new acute opioid prescription. Walmart helps sponsor Prescription For Life, which is a high school-based curriculum on the risks that come with opioid abuse. This program is an educational tool to empower students with information and skills to address the opioid epidemic if they face it in their community. 

Interactive Drug Safety Website

Walmart has created a new website to provide an educational learning platform with access to prescription drug safety and mental health resources. The website, Safe & Well, is free to everyone through its affiliated organization, Everfi Inc. Walmart intends for this mobile-friendly website to provide associates, patients, caregivers, and community members with the necessary information to better understand the risks of prescription misuse, as well as connections to mental health. In May 2020, Walmart even created a virtual reality tool for first responders to be able to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. 

Safe & Well uses videos, interactive scenarios, and self-guided activities like learning how to read a prescription bottle and medication guide. Visitors to the site can also learn about responsible storage and disposal of medication, recognizing opioid use disorder, mental health awareness, strategies for seeking support through a mental health crisis, and coping techniques. Walmart understands its responsibility in educating customers about the dangers of opioid overdose, which can inspire other pharmacies to protect their customers.

With the current opioid epidemic, customers who come in to pick up their prescriptions may have no idea what they are getting into. Most people might not realize they can become addicted to something that seems innocent, like prescription medication, until they become hooked. Walmart is taking responsibility by educating its customers not just about the dangers of opioid misuse, but the mental health effects that can come with addiction. At Alta Loma’s transformative treatment facility, we can provide you with educational and effective uses of treatment to ensure a successful addiction recovery. We understand your need for help and we will be there for you. These effective resources include residency up to 24 months, individualized treatment for your substance abuse issues, therapeutic recreational activities, 12-Step programs, life and coping skills education, medication management and so much more. For more information about our services, please give us a call today at (866) 457-3843.