Unused prescription opioids left in households pose a great threat to public health, as these medications have a significant abuse potential and are therefore at risk of being diverted to individuals other than the intended patient to whom they were prescribed.
Mayo Clinic Department of Surgery conducted a study in 2018 which found that of 2486 patients surveyed, 91.2% of patients received opioids at discharge following surgical procedures, yet 61.5% of the prescribed opioids went unused. The study concluded that a large proportion of postoperative opioids go unused, and that a significant proportion of patients require no opioids after discharge. Furthermore, of the patients surveyed only 7.5% disposed of the remaining opioids appropriately (Habermann).
Drug disposal pouches offer a safe, convenient alternative to current drug take-back practices. These user-friendly pouches are simple to use (just add water!) and can be used in the comfort and privacy of one's own home.
The Opioid Epidemic Network is proud to partner with over 30 organizations to make these drug disposal pouches accessible to the public:
Interview of Francis Melaragni and Mackenzie Deziek for the Youtube series America In Crisis: Breaking the Cycle of Addiction, Woburn Public Media Center