Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Rate of Proper Disposal


By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Could 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — May giving surgical procedure sufferers ready-to-use mailed disposal kits for unused opioids decrease the danger of abuse of the medication?

Sure, claims a brand new examine that discovered sufferers with unused opioid ache drugs are more likely to eliminate them correctly when given the kits.

There is a danger that leftover opioid drugs could also be misused by the particular person they have been prescribed to or by others. In the event that they’re put within the trash, they might be discovered by youngsters or animals, or could hurt the setting. Flushing them down the bathroom additionally poses environmental dangers, the researchers defined.

There are protected disposal websites, similar to sure pharmacies, however sufferers usually do not use them as a result of they might be out of the best way or it takes additional effort.

On this examine, College of Pennsylvania researchers assessed whether or not mailed protected disposal kits may make a distinction.

The examine included 235 sufferers who have been prescribed opioid painkillers after orthopedic or urologic procedures. The standard process was adopted for about half of the sufferers, who have been texted directions to eliminate their unused drugs together with a hyperlink to areas of native protected disposal websites.

The opposite sufferers obtained the identical textual content message however have been mailed disposal kits 4 to seven days after their procedures.

Leftover opioids have been disposed of properly by 60% of those that obtained the disposal equipment, in contrast with 43% of the sufferers who did not obtain the kits, the investigators discovered.

Some research present that solely about 20% to 30% of U.S. sufferers correctly eliminate unused opioid drugs, so these findings recommend that mailed disposal kits may double or triple that price, based on the authors of the examine printed on-line Could 6 in JAMA Network Open.

The researchers famous that using mailed disposal kits by 125 sufferers within the examine resulted within the protected disposal of 480 unused opioid drugs.

“I used to be happy to see that such a easy, ‘snail mail’ method may change habits and promote self-reported disposal,” stated examine lead creator Dr. Anish Agarwal, an assistant professor of emergency medication and chief wellness officer of the division of emergency medication at Penn Medication.

“The opioid epidemic clearly continues to be entrance and middle for sufferers, and the issues with opioid use and misuse have gotten an actual a part of the dialog between physicians and sufferers,” Agarwal added in a college information launch. “I believe sufferers are extra conscious of the dangers and penalties of utilizing opioids and storing them of their houses.”

Extra data

For extra on the protected disposal of medicine, go to the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies.

SOURCE: College of Pennsylvania, information launch, Could 6, 2022


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