A 2019 Government Accountability Agency (GAO) study of “Patient Options for Safe and Effective Disposal of Unused Opioids” noted that prescription size contributes to opioid misuse. “The majority of patients who received prescriptions for opioids often do not use a large portion of the drugs dispensed.”  Unused opioids in the home may be misused by others and present a poisoning danger to children and pets. Other studies have cited the danger of over-prescribing opioid painkillers to treat post-surgical pain and relatively minor illnesses and injuries, such as sprained ankles.

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Last updated on January 21, 2021

This is an update of the article originally published on October 9, 2014. Regulations change frequently. That’s why Sharps Compliance monitors updates and communicates any changes to its customers.

On September 9, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Agency published the Disposal of Controlled Substances Final Rule, which went into effect on October 9, 2014. This new rule allowed registered collectors to place DEA-compliant drug collection receptacles in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) for the collection and disposal of ultimate-user controlled substances (Schedules II-V).

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The 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act included a provision directing the federal General Accounting Office (GAO) to review and report on ultimate-user options for safe and effective disposal of unused opioids. In 2019, the agency released its report to Congress. One section discussed why “federal agencies recommend take-back options as the preferred disposal method” for unused/unwanted opioids.

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Inhalers save lives and improve the quality of life for millions of people. Since the metered dose inhaler was invented in the 1950s, inhalers have become so much a part of daily life that many don’t realize that they require specialized handling and disposal after use. That’s why Sharps Compliance has developed the Inhaler Disposal System to provide for the compliant packaging and safe transportation of unused and partially used pressurized inhalers.

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