Newswise — DENVER, March 15 2017 – An effective, easy-to-use, drug take-back program is now available nationwide to physicians and their patients for safe, convenient and legal disposal of unused prescribed pain medications to help prevent two leading causes of prescription drug deaths – medication theft from the home and improper drug sharing.
Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioid medications kept in homes with children are not stored safely, according to a study published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Furthermore, in a national survey published in the Journal of Pediatrics, 681 adults who said they used opioid pain relievers in the past year had children ages 17 and younger living with them, but only 31 percent safely stored them away from their children.
This drug take-back program, provided by Cordant Health Solutions, www.cordantsolutions.com, allows patients to place their unused drugs in the nondescript take-back envelopes with a prepaid mailing label and deposit in any U.S. Postal Service mailbox. The program is compliant with the requirements of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Cordant announced today it has expanded the take-back program from 10 states and made it available throughout the United States.
“There is a national unmet need for an ongoing and convenient service to safely dispose of opioids and other drugs,” said Sue Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant. “Physicians are reporting their satisfaction with the take-back program and value its utility for counseling patients on what to do with their unused medications, and – above all – get them out of the house and away from curious teens.”
Sommer added that in its initial, 10-state rollout, the Cordant drug take-back service has led to destruction of more than 40 pounds of unused pain drugs that otherwise might have stayed in medicine cabinets.
“Take-back services are the simplest and most effective way to remove unused, potentially dangerous medications from the home,” said David S. Jenkins, vice president and COO of shared services, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. “As the opioid and heroin crisis persists, take-back programs serve as another resource to help mitigate this risk in our communities.”
Seventy-seven percent of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are obtained from a friend or relative, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and sixty-two percent of teens who admit taking medication for non-medical reasons say they get drugs from medicine cabinets in their homes. Parents who are prescribed opioids should dispose of unused drugs when they no longer are needed for pain relief.
Drug Take-Back Programs Proven EffectiveThe U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a biannual drug take-back program, but the public is largely unaware of it, so drugs can stay in homes for months unnecessarily. Despite this limitation, the DEA has destroyed nearly 3,000 tons of unused medications, and studies have shown that medication take-back programs can help reduce accidental overdosing. About Cordant Based in Denver, Cordant Health Solutions™ is at the forefront of combating today’s opioid epidemic through its network of toxicology laboratories and pharmacies. Cordant is committed to providing solutions for payers, clinicians and agencies involved with addiction, criminal justice and pain management. Cordant is one of the only toxicology laboratories that includes a full-service, high-touch pharmacy that specializes in complex management and dispensing of controlled substances. Cordant provides testing protocols and digital case-management tools to help customers become more efficient and effective in using toxicology test results.