Cordant’s Drug Take-Back Service Helps Prevent Adolescent Opioid Misuse
Removing unused opioids from home medicine cabinets is key
DENVER, April 26, 2017 – Medication theft from the home is a leading cause of prescription drug overdose deaths, but nearly 70 percent of prescription opioid medications kept in homes with children are not stored safely, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
National Drug Take-Back Day is April 29, (find your local drop off location here). It is an important opportunity to appropriately dispose of unwanted prescription medications. In addition to a federal program, there is an easy-to-use, drug take-back program sponsored by Cordant Health Solutions. Cordant partners with healthcare providers and hospitals to offer this service, which allows patients to safely and conveniently return unused prescribed pain medication for legal disposal.
The program already has destroyed an estimated 49,000 doses of unused pain medication that might have stayed in home medicine cabinets.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, approximately 77 percent of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are obtained from a friend or relative. Sixty-two percent of teens who admit taking medication for non-medical reasons say they get drugs from medicine cabinets in their homes. This creates a dangerous temptation to experiment with controlled substances and risk catastrophic outcomes. Parents who are prescribed opioids should dispose of unused drugs when they no longer are needed for pain relief.
“There is a national unmet need for an ongoing and convenient service to safely dispose of opioids and other drugs,” said Sue Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. “Physicians are reporting their satisfaction with the take-back program and value its utility for counseling patients on what to do with their unused medications, and – above all – get them out of the house and away from curious teens.”
Recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses and 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
Cordant’s Take-Back Program, takebackprogram.org, allows patients to place their unused drugs in nondescript take-back envelopes with prepaid mailing labels and deposit in any U.S. Postal Service mailbox. The program is compliant with the requirements of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act.
The Cordant drug take-back program also extends to Cordant’s Workers’ Compensation division, which provides medication monitoring services to many of the industry’s largest third-party administrator, self-insured and pharmacy benefit managers and carriers.
“The workers’ comp industry utilizes over ten times more opioids than other payers. These medications are in the injured worker’s home and can be dangerous if they get into the wrong hands. Therefore, we found it critical to extend this offering to our division as well,” said Michele Settel, vice-president and general manager of Cordant’s Workers’ Compensation Division. “Through our collection kits, we offer this potentially life-saving service to our physicians who are treating our clients’ injured workers.”