14 November 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 90 Americans die each day from opioid addiction, often as a result of prescription pain medication misuse.
In efforts to tackle America’s opioid epidemic, The United States Congress recently introduced legislation that would impose an excise tax on opioid manufacturers. The funds collected through this tax would go to abuse prevention and treatment initiatives, as well as opioid takeback programs. To further promote prevention efforts, President Donald Trump, who declared a national health emergency on October 26, announced the creation of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which aims to allocate $500 million to the cause.
One often-overlooked prevention area deals with the improper disposal of prescription opioids, which are sometimes prescribed for pain relief in hospitals, long-term care organizations and home care settings. When unused or expired drugs are thrown away incorrectly, medications can end up in the water supply, as part of landfills, or even in nearby garbage cans where people are more likely to find them.
Stericycle is taking a multi-pronged approach to helping healthcare organizations and their surrounding communities ensure proper drug disposal and reduce opportunities for drug diversion and abuse. On one hand, we are guiding healthcare organizations toward better regulatory compliance, assisting with pharmaceutical waste risk assessment, supplying appropriate waste containers and offering comprehensive staff training.
Stericycle has introduced the Pharmaceutical Consumer Takeback Suite, which provides safe and convenient options for consumers to dispose of any unwanted, unused or expired drugs in their possession.
Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes provide an easy way to dispose of unused medication.
Step One: Fill a pre-addressed envelope with up to 8 ounces of pharmaceutical waste
Step Two: Drop the envelope it into any mailbox
Step Three: Stericycle properly disposes of pharmaceutical waste
Medication Collection Kiosks offer a reliable, anonymous outlet for consumers to dispose of drugs in a safe place within their communities.
Step One: Locate the Medication Collection Kiosk nearest you
Step Two: Place expired or unused medications in the kiosk
For more information on how Stericycle can help your organization and its patients avoid improper drug disposal that could lead to drug diversion and abuse, please see Stericycle's service for managing controlled substances.
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