Open Houses, Open Cabinets: Prescription Drug Theft in the Home

You would never leave dangerous or valuable items out when opening your home to strangers. Yet many people don’t think about locking away or disposing of prescription medicines when preparing their home for sale.

No one can have eyes everywhere when multiple people are viewing a home. In a survey of 164 realtors by the San Diego Association of REALTORS®, almost half had experienced prescription drug theft during open houses.¹ For those medicines you’re currently using, real estate professionals recommend you take your medicines with you while your house is being shown or lock them away somewhere inaccessible.

According to a 2017 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 53% of people who disclosed misusing prescription drugs say they took them from a friend or relative without permission.²

Unwanted and expired medications can be safely disposed of on the next National Prescription Take Back Day on October 26, 2019. This will be the 18th take-back event organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), providing an opportunity to drop off medications at collection sites nationwide, no questions asked.

Cordant Health Solutions™ supports the effort to keep our homes and communities safe with its ongoing Take-Back Program, providing take-back envelopes in our partner physicians’ offices and Cordant pharmacies for patients to safely dispose of their unused medications, including controlled substances scheduled II–V, through the USPS for free.

To date, Cordant has safely disposed of more than 294,000 unused or expired pills, helping to prevent the potential for theft as well as misuse.

The risks of prescription misuse are as deadly as ever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017: 17,029 of those deaths involved prescription opioid pain relievers, 11,537 involved benzodiazepines, used to treat conditions such as anxiety and/or insomnia, and 10,333 involved a stimulant such as an ADHD medicine.³

The DEA lists its October event collection locations at DEATakeBack.com. You can also search the U.S Department of Justice site to find year-round collection locations here.

¹ https://magazine.realtor/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2014/09/safety-talk-you-need-have-clients

² https://www.samhsa.gov/data/nsduh/reports-detailed-tables-2017-NSDUH

³ https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates