Post-Op Patients Not Securing Or Disposing Of Unused Medication For Pain, Says Study

Disposing of Unused Medication | Just Believe Recovery PA

In This Article

Post-Op Patients Not Securing Or Disposing Of Unused Medication For Pain, Says Study

A new study, published in JAMA Surgery, finds that more than two-thirds (67%) of surgery patients in the United States are over-prescribed opioid painkillers, and leftover medication is being mishandled. Moreover, pills are not kept in secure locations, and the unused pills are not discarded properly – two actions that can lead to abuse by others.

For the study, investigators examined six studies for data on unused prescription painkillers. These studies included 810 patients, and 67-92% of the individuals post-surgery stated they had medication leftover following recovery. Five of the studies found that only 25% of all subjects reported securing their pills in a locked container.

Of the opioids given to patients, 42-71% of the drugs were unused. Two studies looked at secure storage, and findings revealed that 73-77% of patients reported their medication was not secured in a locked device.

Most subjects stated they ceased using painkillers when their pain stopped, but some stated they ended use due to concerns about addiction. Less than one-third discarded their extra pills or did not intend to throw them out. Also, less than 10% considered or followed directions to properly discard the drugs.

The results brought to light the issue of personalized pain management – an approach that can reduce over-prescribing and mitigate the risk of unsecured medication left around the home.

From the study:

“Postoperative prescription opioids often go unused, unlocked, and undisposed, suggesting an important reservoir of opioids contributing to nonmedical use of these products, which could cause injuries or even deaths.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division offers assistance in finding disposal locations, and drugstores such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens provide medication take-back services for disposing of unused medication. These services can also be found at some hospitals and police stations.

October 28, 2017, is National Prescription Take Back Day, which will also offer services to patients who have unused medication.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28768328
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/index.html
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

Signs of Addiction | Just Believe Recovery Pennsylvania

Signs of Addiction

Many individuals begin to use substances out of curiosity, due to peer pressure, or as a misguided attempt to cope with everyday stress or a

Read More »

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Let's Connect

🔒 Your information is safe & secure

Sidebar Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
How to Stop Smoking Weed | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

How to Stop Smoking Weed

Due to broad legalization and approval for medical purposes, marijuana use in the United States is at a record high. At the time of this

Read More »
Women, Drugs, and Prisons | Just Believe Recovery PA
Addiction

Women, Drugs, and Prisons

There has been a rise in the incarceration of women in the United States. In the past quarter-century, there has been an undeniable change for

Read More »
Alcohol Abuse in Young People | Just Believe Recovery PA
Addiction

Early Exposure To Substance Abuse

New research is showing there are environmental factors that can lead to substance abuse and addiction later in life for children. There are factors we

Read More »

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.

Our dedicated admissions team is standing by to answer any questions you might have.

You don’t have to do this alone. Call today!