Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Charge of Correct Disposal


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By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

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

Sure, claims a brand new research 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 medicines could also be misused by the particular person 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 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 could be out of the best way or it takes further effort.

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

The research 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 places of native protected 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 correctly by 60% of those that obtained 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 medicines, so these findings counsel that mailed disposal kits might double or triple that price, in response to the authors of the research revealed on-line Could 6 in JAMA Community Open.

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

“I used to be happy to see that such a easy, ‘snail mail’ strategy might change habits and promote self-reported disposal,” mentioned research lead writer 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 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 properties.”

Extra info

For extra on the protected disposal of medication, 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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