Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Price of Correct Disposal


By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Might 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 medicine?

Sure, claims a brand new examine that discovered sufferers with unused opioid ache capsules are more likely to eliminate 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 may very well 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 protected disposal websites, comparable to sure pharmacies, however sufferers typically do not use them as a result of they might be out of the way in which or it takes further 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 had been prescribed opioid painkillers after orthopedic or urologic procedures. The same old process was adopted for about half of the sufferers, who had been texted directions to eliminate their unused capsules together with a hyperlink to areas of native protected disposal websites.

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

Leftover opioids had been disposed of correctly by 60% of those that acquired the disposal package, 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, in keeping with the authors of the examine printed on-line Might 6 in JAMA Community Open.

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

“I used to be happy to see that such a easy, ‘snail mail’ strategy 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 Drugs.

“The opioid epidemic clearly continues to be entrance and heart 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 properties.”

Extra info

For extra on the protected 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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