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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