Although several drug deactivation products are marketed for pharmaceutical waste disposal in home and clinical settings, none have been reviewed or approved by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Disposing of drugs in the trash (even after treatment with a drug decomposition product) may violate state and/or local regulations. Federal guidelines from the DEA, EPA, and FDA for consumer disposal of household medicines recommend take-back programs as the best disposal option.
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On July 29, 2021, President Biden signed the Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription (DUMP) Opioids Act into law. Beginning in 2022, it will give community residents access to medication disposal collection receptacles, including Sharps Compliance’s MedSafe kiosks, located at certain VA medical centers. Instead of waiting for semi-annual Drug Take Back Day events,  this additional disposal option will help unused/unwanted opioids and other harmful medications from being misused or diverted into the environment.

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In 2019, an estimated 9.7 million people misused prescription painkillers, and 70.6 % of drug overdose deaths involved opioids. Not all of those deaths were the result of intentional misuse. Prescription opioids and opioid use disorder treatment medications kept in the home pose a danger to children and pets if they aren’t stored in secure containers and disposed of safely.

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Last updated on May 27, 2021

This is an update of the article originally published on March 19, 2020. Regulations change frequently. That’s why Sharps Compliance monitors updates and communicates any changes to its customers.

In these uncertain times, many of our current and prospective customers look to us, their regulated medical waste (RMW) management experts, for guidance in the proper handling of waste generated from confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases, and rightfully so.

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Many people suffer from dental fear or anxiety. The journal of the American Dental Association noted that dentists view effective pain management as “the Holy Grail for achieving patient satisfaction” because fear can cause people to delay needed treatment, resulting in more pain! Concerns about pain management may lead to the use of stronger painkillers and prescribing more pills than necessary to ease short-term discomfort. In 2016, JAMA Network Open reported that 22.3% of US dental prescriptions were for opioids that carried a “high potential for abuse.”

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