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Locking Medication Bags vs. Locking Medication Boxes: There is a Difference

Opioid related overdoses have increased by 28%, according to a new report released by the CDC. In 2016, 63,632 Americans died of drug overdose, and two-thirds of those deaths are due to opioids. Around 11.5 million Americans people misused opioids that same year.

There are two ways to prevent misuse of opioids, first are locking medication bags, and second are locking medication boxes.

Locking medication boxes are bulky, can be difficult to use, and expensive. An alternative are locking medication bags which are easier to use, portable, tamper-evident, and cost effective.

According to a National Survey conducted on drug use and health, 2.1 million people within the United States had an opioid use disorder in 2016. Essentially, our country has a major drug problem, which is why people are choosing to protect themselves and their prescriptions. For instance, some people think that carrying their prescriptions with them is a good idea, other’s choose to hide them in secret places, and then there are some people who make the decision to protect themselves even further by locking up their opioid prescriptions. There are a few ways to do this, and two of the more popular options are locking zipper bags or locking boxes.

The thing is, these two specific ways to keep your prescriptions safe are actually rather different even though they serve the same function. Don’t think that they are all that different? Well, keep on reading to learn five reasons why they are.

1. Size

This difference between a locking zipper bag and a lockable box for medicines is extremely obvious, but really needs to be pointed out since it is a rather big difference.

You see, a prescription lock box is typically rather large in size with even the smallest of options being a minimum of three and a half inches high. That’s three and a half inches of minimum storage space you’ll need in order to put it away somewhere, not to mention the fact that there is the width of the box to consider and the depth of it as well. Basically, it’s not convenient, particularly if you want to prevent someone from easily finding it.

On the other hand with a lockable bag, the space that you need to store it is very, very minimal since the typical width of one is less than a half inch. Therefore, you can pretty much store it wherever you like and on top of that, you can even fold it in half since it’s pliable.

2. Ease of Use

We all like things to be easy to use and that’s exactly what a locking zipper bag offers. They are easy to open, shut, and lock unlike a medication lock box that can sometimes be hard to secure. For example, with a box where you store your opioid prescriptions, there can sometimes be an issue with the lock actually catching, which can get really frustrating.

With a locking security bag with a zipper, that frustration can be avoided. Plus, what’s nice about them is you have the option of a combination lock or a keyed lock. It’s really up to you.

3. Tamper Evident

One thing that is very unique about a locking security bag by Cardinal Bag Supplies compared to a lockable box for medicines is that a bag is tamper evident. With a lockable box, sometimes you can’t even tell if it has been tampered with until you go to open it and and discover that the contents within the box are gone. This can be rather traumatic and upsetting.

With a locking zipper bag, you can avoid that upsetting discovery since you will know as soon as you look at it if it’s been tampered with. How is this possible? The answer relates to how it’s designed. At Cardinal Bag Supplies, we intentionally created our locking opioid bags with a plastic zipper. The reason this is a big deal is because a metal zipper can be manipulated back into place, however, one crafted from plastic is tamper evident. So, you will know if it’s been used and if you know it’s been used, you can start asking hard questions to those who you think might tampered with it.

4. Cost

Prevention and outreach budgets are tight, and locking medication bags are a more affordable option compared to locking medication boxes. Unlike a lock box, locking opioid bags allow your outreach budget to stretch further, ultimately getting this powerful prevention tool in as many homes as possible and keeping prescription opioids out of the wrong hands.

5. Dual Purpose

Not only can locking bags keep medications safe in your community, but they also offer a very cost-effective way to show your community that you are taking a stand against the opioid epidemic and putting government grant dollars to great use.

Locking opioid bags are great for state and tribal agencies, as well as medical and senior facilities to purchase and have imprinted with their logo to show that they are leading the charge against opioid abuse. It’s a win, win for everyone. This important prevention tool is already making an impact in the State of Washington’s WHATCOM Has Hope, heroin and other opioid prevention and education program, that has now made this important tool available at local pharmacies.

Take A Stand Against The Opioid Crisis

Together, we can lock up America’s opioid crisis. Join Cardinal Bags in leading the charge in combating the opioid crisis. For more information on locking opioid bags visit
Or contact us: (855) 235-7230 [email protected]

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