Pharmacists are some of the most trusted professionals in the United States. Community pharmacies play a crucial role in the nationwide effort to educate the public about the importance of safe prescription drug disposal and provide access to regulatory compliant disposal solutions. A conducted by Portland State University (PSU) found that an on-site disposal option at the pharmacy could help. “The presence of a dropbox at a pharmacy was associated with greater customer awareness of proper drug disposal and safer pharmacist recommendations to customers.”
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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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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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Last updated on May 2, 2022

Across the country, state governments, hospitals, and other authorized collectors are working with industry partners to raise awareness about safe prescription drug disposal and offer convenient disposal options. Sharps Compliance has been a leader in the effort to help communities offer more opportunities for safe and secure prescription drug disposal since 2014.
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