Photo courtesy of Safer Lock.

According to the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 75 percent of all opioid misuse does not start with a prescription, but through medication illegally obtained from a friend, family member, or dealer. Fortunately, a new, lockable pill bottle represents a promising step in preventing diversion without limiting access to relief for legitimate patients.

The product was developed by a company called Safer Lock, created by Nathan Langley and his business partner, Joseph Simpson. Simpson’s brother, Steven, became addicted to pain medications as a teenager after stealing them from their mother, Deborah. Deborah, who lives with chronic pain, began taking pain medications due to a car accident in 2002.

While Steven is now in recovery, Joseph saw a dire need for a way to safeguard medications from being accessed by anyone but the intended recipient. After careful research and seven prototypes, Joseph created a pill bottle with an easy-to-use, four-digit combination lock cap. The cap can be used with the bottle that is included and with most standard prescription bottles.

The lockable cap can be used with the bottle that is included and with most standard prescription bottles.

Beyond curbing abuse, lockable pill bottles can also help prevent accidental ingestion or overdose by a curious young child.

“While lockable pill bottles alone won’t solve the opioid crisis, this is an excellent way to empower people with pain to protect their loved ones and do their part to prevent addiction,” says Paul Gileno, U.S. Pain president and founder. “We need more innovations and reforms like this one, which strike a balance between safety and access.”

Learn more about Safer Lock products here. You can also read U.S. Pain’s full position statement on balanced access to pain management and opioid reform here.