The Safer Lock Story
Joseph Simpson, co-founder of Safer Lock, explains, “It all started in 2002 when my mother was in a serious car accident that put her in a wheelchair for almost two years. She endured over 34 operations—to her back, neck, shoulder, and knees, and her doctors prescribed some pretty powerful pain killers. My younger brother Steven, then 14, couldn’t resist experimenting, which was common in our high school. Our mom started to suspect something was going on, and she began hiding her pills in other containers.”
When prescription drugs become less available, opioid abusers often switch to heroin because it’s far less expensive and easier to obtain. Like so many, Steven followed that path and eventually developed a heroin addiction. “It consumed every part of his day for two or three years,” says Joseph. Steven’s low points included dropping out of school and stealing from family and friends.
The initial tragedy—Deborah Simpson’s devastating injuries—gave birth to Steven’s chemical dependency on opioids – first, pain pills and then heroin. “Fortunately, Steven realized he had a problem. He didn’t want to live that life any more,” says Joseph. Steven went to multiple treatment centers to learn how to live without drugs or alcohol. Slowly, he beat his addiction but faces a constant battle to stay drug-free.
The Origin of Safer Lock™
Joseph was angry and disappointed to discover that the epidemic of prescription pill abuse flew under the radar, largely unseen and unaddressed by the medical and regulatory communities. “It’s shocking that powerful medications of this type are not legally mandated to be secure,” he says. “If the medicines are secure, teens don’t have the option of using the medicine cabinet as their drug dealer for the first time. And children can’t get their hands on dangerous medications.” This realization inspired his idea for a locking prescription bottle that would help keep prescription medications away from unintended consumers, from toddlers to teens.