Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Rate of Proper Disposal

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By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Could giving country patients ready-to-use mailed disposal kits for unused opioids little the hazard of maltreatment of the drugs?

Yes, claims a caller survey that recovered patients with unused opioid symptom pills are overmuch much apt to dispose of them decently erstwhile fixed the kits.

There's a hazard that leftover opioid medications whitethorn beryllium misused by the idiosyncratic they were prescribed to oregon by others. If they're enactment successful the trash, they could beryllium recovered by children oregon animals, oregon whitethorn harm the environment. Flushing them down the toilet besides poses biology risks, the researchers explained.

There are harmless disposal sites, specified arsenic definite pharmacies, but patients often don't usage them due to the fact that they whitethorn beryllium retired of the mode oregon it takes other effort.

In this study, University of Pennsylvania researchers assessed whether mailed harmless disposal kits mightiness marque a difference.

The survey included 235 patients who were prescribed opioid painkillers aft orthopedic oregon urologic procedures. The accustomed process was followed for astir fractional of the patients, who were texted instructions to dispose of their unused pills on with a nexus to locations of section harmless disposal sites.

The different patients received the aforesaid substance connection but were mailed disposal kits 4 to 7 days aft their procedures.

Leftover opioids were disposed of properly by 60% of those who received the disposal kit, compared with 43% of the patients who didn't person the kits, the investigators found.

Some studies amusement that lone astir 20% to 30% of U.S. patients decently dispose of unused opioid medications, truthful these findings suggest that mailed disposal kits could treble oregon triple that rate, according to the authors of the survey published online May 6 successful JAMA Network Open.

The researchers noted that the usage of mailed disposal kits by 125 patients successful the survey resulted successful the harmless disposal of 480 unused opioid pills.

"I was pleased to spot that specified a simple, 'snail mail' attack could alteration behaviour and beforehand self-reported disposal," said survey pb writer Dr. Anish Agarwal, an adjunct prof of exigency medicine and main wellness serviceman of the section of exigency medicine astatine Penn Medicine.

"The opioid epidemic intelligibly continues to beryllium beforehand and halfway for patients, and the concerns with opioid usage and misuse are becoming a existent portion of the speech betwixt physicians and patients," Agarwal added successful a assemblage quality release. "I deliberation patients are much alert of the risks and consequences of utilizing opioids and storing them successful their homes."

More information

For much connected the harmless disposal of drugs, spell to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania, quality release, May 6, 2022