National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 29, 2022. For 23 years, this day has been dedicated to not only providing the public with ways to conveniently dispose of prescription medications but also to raise awareness about the potential for abuse of medications.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid-involved overdose deaths in the U.S. significantly increased from 46,802 annually in 2018 to 68,630 overdose deaths in 2020, and many more are battling with persistent addiction. Although there are many factors contributing to the U.S. opioid crisis, a key driver is the misuse of prescription pain medicine, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.
By providing convenient options for the disposal of unused or expired prescription medications, organizations can help prevent these drugs from getting into the wrong hands, which can lead to misuse and abuse. With more than 25% of the world’s rivers containing active pharmaceutical ingredients, appropriate disposal options beyond “down the drain” also helps to prevent prescription medications from entering waterways.
Why Organizations Should Support Prescription Drug Take Back Opportunities
In a 2022 Edelman Special Report on Trust in the Workplace, 78% of employees shared that they trust their employers over the government or the media. And 7 in 10 employees want their job to bring societal impact. As HR leaders work to help their organizations recruit and retain top talent, now more than ever it is important to connect your employees to your organization’s commitment to helping improve employee and community health. One of the ways to do that is to support appropriate prescription drug disposal, and drug take back day is a good time to kick-off a program. For example, companies can offer mail back solutions to help employees dispose of their unwanted or unused medications.
Stericycle partners with organizations of all sizes to help their employees find and understand disposal methods that work best for them.
How Organizations Can Implement a Drug Take Back Program
Employers can start a drug take back program by offering mail back envelopes, which employees can use to anonymously mail in unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs. Along with promoting National Drug Take Back Day internally, organizations can educate employees on the importance of proper drug disposal.
In addition to drug take back days, organizations can wrap prescription drug disposal messages and opportunities into Earth Day celebrations, at annual benefits fairs, or make it a part of your overall benefits package. Regular communications can enhance employer brand affinity and energize employees who share your company’s core values. Your drug take back provider can offer program tracking data to share via reporting, which can reaffirm the company’s dedication to doing the right thing.
Methods of Proper Disposal
Encouraging proper drug disposal is one of the ways an organization can demonstrate its commitment to the broader community and the health and safety of its employees. Stericycle offers online resources to help companies find disposal solutions that work best for their employees.
Here are two disposal methods that Stericycle offers:
- Seal&SendTM Consumer Medication Mail Envelopes allow employees to use prepaid USPS envelopes to package their medications at home and ship them anonymously through the mail to a treatment facility. Any organization can offer this product to their employees for use in their homes.
- Through MedDropTM Medication Collection Kiosks, Stericycle supplies collection receptacles to authorized collectors where people can conveniently drop off unwanted medications. Authorized collectors include retail pharmacies, hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy and law enforcement agencies.
Learn more about how Stericycle helps our customers protect the communities we serve with a variety of disposal solutions for household-generated medications.