Dispose of medications safely and quickly
After recovering from surgery, patients often stow away unused opioids prescribed for temporary pain control. Unused opioids endanger everyone in the household, especially young people. Opioids must be disposed of as soon as the pain subsides or the designated prescription timeline has lapsed.
Many people still have bottles of prescription opioids in their medicine cabinets, with more than a billion unused pills existing in American households. Opioids are not labeled as opioids: doctors call them pain pills. They go by names like Vicodin, oxycontin, roxicet, oxymorphone, Opana, and many other names for generic and trade-name preparations.
To safely and ethically remove opioid prescriptions from your household, simply flush them down the toilet. This is the most efficient method for eliminating the risk, and these guidelines are in line with recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Other disposal options include returning medication to a pharmacy, fire department, or police department. Opioids must be removed from the home as soon as possible—it is necessary for the security and safety of every American family.
RAEFORD BROWN is a pediatric anesthesiologist for UK HealthCare and the chair of the FDA Advisory Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics.