Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse at Home

Prescription Drug Abuse medication disposal envelope

Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the United States. Opioids, depressants and stimulants are the most abused medications. According to the Los Angeles Times, the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries in the U.S. is drug-related poisonings, which has surpassed automobile accidents. Between 1999 and 2006, deaths from drug poisoning have almost doubled. The first step towards preventing drug abuse is proper medication disposal.

In recent years, prescription drug abuse has increased because prescription drugs are more readily available. Drugs are prescribed more often due to “patient advocacy groups, the development of new formulations of opiate analgesics to meet this demand, and increased marketing of opiates by pharmaceutical companies.” Vicodin is one of the most prescribed medicines in all drug categories.

Even though doctors prescribe prescription pain medications, that does not mean that they are “safe.” If pain medications are not taken as instructed, they can lead to dependence and possibly heroin use. One out of every fifteen people who use non-medical prescription pain relievers will try heroin within ten years. Heroin is generally easier and less expensive to obtain.

Unused or expired medicine that is not properly disposed of puts people at risk. Sharps has supplied solutions for ultimate user medication disposal since 2009, beginning with the TakeAway Environmental Return System Envelopes. Our solutions have safely removed hundreds of thousands of pounds of unused medications from users’ homes.

For pharmacies and drug stores wanting to provide a solution to their customers for disposing of unused medications, Sharps Compliance offers TakeAway Medication Recovery System Envelopes. These prepaid, tamper-evident envelopes allow comingled collection and disposal of controlled (Schedules II-IV) and non-controlled medications. This DEA-compliant service is easy to use. Once envelopes are filled with medications, users seal the envelopes and mail them back with a prepaid USPS label for proper, DEA-preferred destruction.

These envelopes are available in a few different options: 25 envelopes in a counter display or 12 individually-wrapped envelopes with or without a counter display. This product drives foot traffic to retail pharmacies and offers pharmacists an opportunity to discuss medications with their customers, improving business.