Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Rate of Proper Disposal


By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

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

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

There is a threat that leftover opioid drugs could also be misused by the individual they had 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 might hurt the surroundings. Flushing them down the bathroom additionally poses environmental dangers, the researchers defined.

There are secure disposal websites, reminiscent of sure pharmacies, however sufferers usually do not use them as a result of they might be out of the way in which or it takes additional effort.

On this research, College of Pennsylvania researchers assessed whether or not mailed secure disposal kits would possibly make a distinction.

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

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

Leftover opioids had 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 get rid of unused opioid drugs, so these findings recommend that mailed disposal kits may double or triple that fee, in accordance with the authors of the research revealed on-line Might 6 in JAMA Network Open.

The researchers famous that using mailed disposal kits by 125 sufferers within the research resulted within the secure 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,” mentioned research lead writer Dr. Anish Agarwal, an assistant professor of emergency drugs and chief wellness officer of the division of emergency drugs at Penn Medication.

“The opioid epidemic clearly continues to be entrance and middle for sufferers, and the considerations 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 info

For extra on the secure disposal of medication, go to the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers.

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


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