BEDFORD, NH–Jay Gupta, Director of Pharmacy and Integrative Health at Harbor Homes, was honored this month with the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award at the annual holiday reception of the New Hampshire Pharmacy Association at Manchester Country Club in Bedford.
The Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award recognizes excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention at state pharmacy associations. It honors a pharmacist who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse among the general public and among the pharmacy community. The award is also intended to encourage educational prevention efforts aimed at patients, youth, and other members of the community.
Besides serving the clients of Harbor Homes, Gupta is co-founder of RxRelax and YogaCaps, Inc. He has a passion for educating the general public and healthcare professionals about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. He has helped address not just the opioid crisis, but has been educating people about the escalation of polypharmacy, particularly for our seniors.
One of the topics Gupta has studied and lectured on extensively is sleep, lack of sleep and abuse / overuse of sleep medications. He has delivered many free workshops for the public over the years on this topic, and for past two years, shares it nationally.
“There are so many people in our country who are wide awake at bedtime and can’t wake up in the morning without a caffeine jumpstart. Poor sleep quality leads to abuse and addiction to alcohol, stimulants or prescription and OTC medications,” Gupta said in a statement.
In order to improve the accessibility to this knowledge and offer support, Gupta has created a 2-CD set called “RxRelax for Insomnia” as a comprehensive tool to help people. He also works with MCPHS University to study the effects of yoga for people receiving cancer treatments who are experiencing sleep issues.
Another issue Gupta has addressed is chronic pain management. He has worked with Dr. Jerry Hevern from Pain Management Center of Elliot Hospital, as well as with Anita Wallace, Pharm D, at the VAMC to conduct pain education workshops and yoga sessions.
Gupta also provides CMEs/CEs for a range of healthcare professionals to address these issues. Some recent examples include CME / CE lectures on polypharmacy and Pain/Addiction management for MA Medical Society, Indian Medical Society of New England, Elliot Hospital’s Integrative Medicine conference, New England Pharmacists Annual Convention and Harvard Medical School’s 2nd International Integrative Medicine Conference titled “Heal the Hurt”. He also delivered the closing keynote at HxRefactored, a major healthcare conference in Boston. He has given multiple lectures about best practices for insomnia treatment and possible dangers of zzz medications at CE conferences for pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners.
Another part of Gupta’s time outside his work at the pharmacy has been dedicated to teaching healthcare professionals how to use simple therapeutic yoga techniques (he calls them yoga capsules) to help better manage or alleviate chronic health conditions. A number of his case studies indicate easy Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes lead to reduction and elimination of some medications that have potential of abuse, including benzodiazepines. Some of the healthcare professionals who experienced compassion fatigue, extreme stress and burnout (and took unintended early retirement) are now happily back to work.