September 21, 2023

Coalitions in Action – Preventing Pet Medication Misuse

In the prevention field, collaboration between fellow coalitions allows communities to avoid reinventing the wheel and, instead, focus on creating lasting change using a greater wealth of resources. Cheatham Coalition, based in Ashland City, Tennessee, recently demonstrated this by replicating Power of Putnam’s successful initiative surrounding pet medication misuse. The Pet Med Diversion Project aims to educate both the public and veterinary professionals about the proper handling and disposal of pet medications to prevent misuse and has both successfully raised awareness and paved the way for new partnerships with a previously untapped sector.

Cheatham Coalition recognized the need to address medication misuse in their community, and their connection and proactive networking with Power of Putnam provided the knowledge and resources required to make a meaningful impact. One of the key aspects of their initiative was the distribution of brochures and stickers to local animal clinics, hospitals, and animal control shelters. These materials served a dual purpose: educating pet owners about the proper use and disposal of pet medications and ensuring that pharmacy staff were aware of the potential for medication misuse in the form of “vet shopping”.

While the project began just last month, Cheatham Coalition is already witnessing positive outcomes. One of the most notable achievements came from the distribution of medication lockboxes in accompaniment with the other Pet Med Diversion materials. By offering lockboxes in more locations around the community, this resource aimed at safeguarding medications has become more accessible to a broader audience.

Additionally, the project has opened doors to future partnerships and collaborations. The Cheatham Coalition plans to continue working closely with local animal clinics and other partners, offering training, resources, and support. These newfound connections have opened doors to further engagement and collaboration within the community, ensuring that the Cheatham Coalition’s mission continues to grow and thrive.

If another community hopes to replicate these efforts, coalitions are encouraged to reach out to experienced organizations, like Power of Putnam and Cheatham Coalition, to leverage their resources and expertise. By embracing collaborative approaches in prevention work, communities can amplify their impact and combine their efforts in the journey towards a safer and healthier future for all.

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