RxEAP Task Force

RxEAP is an acronym for Prescription Education Awareness Prevention. Formed by passionate members of our BSAN coalition, the RxEAP Task Force is analyzing the problem of the non-medical use of prescription drugs, and strategically taking action to reduce access to prescription medication, educating the public and youth on the dangers of prescription medication misuse and abuse, and informing citizens on how they can help stop the problem.

RxEAP Task Force members include: physicians from Carolinas HealthCare System-Blue Ridge, Burke County Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Task Force Members as well as Sheriff Steve Whisenant, pharmacists from Table Rock Pharmacy and Jay’s Pharmacy, pharmacy students, the Burke County Health Department, the Burke County Department Social Service, clergy, non-profit agency members, behavioral health practitioners, and others.

Below are a list of current initiatives of the RxEAP Task Force. If you would like to know more about any of these items, or wish to join the RxEAP Task Force contact Sarah Dergins at bcacdsarah@gmail.com.

RxEAP Task Force Accomplishments (August 2015 – Present):

Community Awareness:

  • Running 6 Billboards for the Lock Your Meds in May – December, 2016, avg. 134,000 views/week
  • Distributed over 2500 rack cards with Lock Your Meds message to 10  pharmacies for pharmacists to give with prescriptions.
  • Created and ran PSAs on Compass Cable and The Big Dawg Radio for drug drop box awareness.
  • Ran a 3-day newspaper campaign on the dangers of NMUPD.
  • Meetings with Ministerial Association- providing Rx safety info cards in church bulletins
  • Lock Your Meds Posters in majority of Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge practices.
  • Project Lazarus poster contest had 55 student entries from Burke County. Winning poster made into a billboard.
  • Demonstrated and distributed 125 medication lock boxes to at risk homes (where controlled substance prescriptions and  children are present). Lock boxes used as educational tool for parents.
  • Held Operation Medicine Drop in partnership with the Burke County Health Department, Safe Kids NC, and Burke County Sheriff’s Office – March 21, 2016 collected 9,562 pills


  • Physician’s Task force at CHS Blue Ridge implemented new Narcotic / Benzodiazepine Prescribing Alert System for discharged patients on October 25.The new reporting system flags for:
    • Three or more active narcotic or benzodiazepine prescriptions in last 30 days,
    • >50% of the prescribed meds remaining from at least one narcotic or benzodiazepine prescription
    • Narcotic or benzodiazepine administration during an ED or urgent care visit 2 or more times in last 30 days
    • Any history of a positive toxicology screen for marijuana or cocaine, or a positive blood alcohol content testRed Ribbon Week- National Substance Abuse Prevention Week.
  • Assessed current drop box availability in community and assessed need for additional boxes.


  • Presented the dangers of non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) to over 350 youth
  • Held “Parents Inspire Prevention” 3 part educational series for parents in partnership with the Underage Drinking Initiative.
  • Held a Parents Town Hall event (70 parents) with Underage Drinking Initiative and faith community.
  • Delivered prevention education on NMUPD to over 400 adults (parents, faith community members, health fair participants, civic groups, community college students, Morganton City Council, County Commissioners, et al.)
  • Presented to 5th grade students and elementary parents on NMUPD and medication safety.
  • Conducted 2 surveys on youth substance abuse – 559 students in May, 2015 and 750 students in October of 2015.
  • Planned and presented at the 2016 Opioid Summit.
  • Gave educational presentation to all Burke County Public School counselors and nursing staff on the non-medical use of Prescription drugs.
  • Physician’s task force coordinated with nursing administrators at Grace Hospital to have a nurse, who is in recovery from prescription opioid addiction speak to the nursing staff (roughly 50), and physicians (5) on best practices for treating patients who are addicted to prescription mediations.
  • Gave presentations to inform and partner with the Burke County Medical Society, 38 medical practices in Burke County, nursing directors at CHS-Blue Ridge, Burke Health Network, Burke Substance Abuse Network, and others.
  • Weekly Life Skills Training lessons for youth being raised by grandparents (ongoing)

 Upcoming Events and Goals

  • Airing a Lock Your Meds PSA on TV.
  • Presenting to Nursing Home managers on NMUPD
  • Presenting to American Society of Medical Assistants
  • Dissemination of  medication lock boxes
  • Increase utilization of drop box disposal through education and awareness campaign.
  • Adding medication drop boxes to two local pharmacies in each end of Burke County.
  • Reach youth through dynamic health class 1 hr lessons in partnership with BCPS.
  • Create a youth task force for the prevention of substance abuse.
  • Prescriber education – dentists, oral surgeons, community physicians, hospice workers, nursing home staff, PA society,  nursing staff, etc.

NC LYM Billboard 32x10