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USF professor joining the fight against the opioid epidemic

Posted at 2:41 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 14:52:44-04

TAMPA, Fla. — USF professor Kathleen Moore, PhD is joining the fight against opioid abuse.

Moore is a research professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at USF. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just granted Moore and Zev Schumann-Olivier, MD (Cambridge Health Alliance) a $2.25 million grant.

With those funds, the team will study the use of MySafeRx.

Moore says research has shown that transportation and the cost of medications can cause premature discontinuation when treating opioid addicted patients.

Patients use drugs like Suboxone, Vivitral, and Methadone to reduce the need for opioids.

MySafeRx uses a medication lockbox. The box can only be opened with a code from a mobile recovery coach.

Patients check-in regularly with their coach for a video conference and are given a code to unlock the device.

"Clients coming in to detox to jail or residential, which are really high risk settings, when they step down from those setting then they are at the highest risk for overdose so we're trying to think about ways to reduce that and this is one of these ways, say Moore.

Moore says there are 13 deaths a day in the state of Florida due to opioid addiction.

So, right now Moore is recruiting clients with opioid addiction from the Agency for Community Treatment Services in Tampa.

The team of researchers are hoping to study the effects of this program and reduce the barriers to the drugs patients need.

You can read more about the program by clicking here.