Removal of unused opioids from home medicine cabinets is key

It’s Time to CHILD-Proof Your House

Removal of unused opioids from home medicine cabinets is key

As parents we know that keeping our children safe around our home is important. We know to make sure poisonous cleaners are not in cabinets that young children can easily access. We know to cover our electrical outlets and put safety handles on all doors, but do you know how to do additional child-proofing of your house?

As many Americans know, drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicate that prescription drug addiction is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. As many as 62 percent of teens who have used prescription drugs say they did so because they could easily get them from their parents’ medicine cabinets. Relatedly, the data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that nearly 80 percent of heroin users report having become addicted to prescription pain medications first, while less than 4 percent had a history of heroin use before beginning prescription pain medications. Together, these statistics highlight the significance of the home medicine cabinet to stopping a problem before it starts.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 28, which is an important opportunity to appropriately dispose of unwanted prescription medications. In addition to the federal program, there is an easy-to-use drug take-back program sponsored by Cordant Health Solutions. Cordant partners with healthcare providers, drug abuse treatment centers 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 77 pounds or an estimated 70,000 doses of unused pain medication that might have stayed in home medicine cabinets and available for misuse.

Recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, or an estimated 175 deaths per day.

“The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a very important event, but we have seen an unmet need for an ongoing and convenient service to safely dispose of opioids and other drugs,” said Susan Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. “Physicians are reporting their satisfaction with our take-back program and value its utility for counseling patients on what to do with their unused medications, and – above all – how to get them out of the house and away from curious teens on a schedule that works for busy families.”

The 14th annual Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. The day gives you a chance to take unused meds to a safe and convenient location.

To find the collection site nearest you, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback

Cordant’s Take-Back Program (takebackprogram.org) supplies take-back envelopes to its clients so they can give them to their patients to place their unused or expired medications in the nondescript take-back envelopes with a prepaid mailing label and deposit in any U.S. Postal Service mailbox. This program is compliant with the requirements of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act and can be implemented in any physician office, hospital or treatment center.