Opioid Painkillers After Oral Surgery May Put Teens at Risk for Later Opioid Abuse

Most parents worry about their teens getting access to drugs at school or in social settings – not at the dentist. However, the American Dental Association and private insurers have expressed concerns about the widespread practice of prescribing opioid painkillers to teens after oral surgeries. The patients who filled those opioid prescriptions were nearly three times as likely to use opioids in the year after the prescription.

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Patient Education on Opioids Helps Reduce Opioid Use & Encourage Safe Disposal

Recent research shows that patients who receive education and counseling about the importance of safe disposal of opioid medications are associated with a higher likelihood of the patient properly disposing of their unused medications. That peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Pain Research also found “a clear need to increase patient awareness about the importance and methods of proper medication disposal, and a great opportunity for health care providers to increase patient education efforts.”  

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Federal Grant Program Encourages States to Increase Drug Take Back Efforts

Last fall, Congress passed the “Access to Increased Drug Disposal (AIDD) Act as part of a larger package of bills aimed at controlling the national opioid epidemic. AIDD allows states to compete for $10 million in federal grants designed to increase participation in safe medication disposal programs. Five states will be chosen to receive grant money to implement drug take back demonstration projects that encourage “authorized collectors,” such as hospitals and retail pharmacies, to increase public access to drug collection boxes.

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Veterinarians, Pet Medications, and the Opioid Crisis

Ninety-five percent of pet owners say they consider pets a part of the family, but there’s a darker side to some of those families. Sadly, as in so many human families, drug addiction is breaking the bonds of affection and trust. Veterinarians have reported cases where opioid addiction is leading pet owners to steal their pets’ medications or even injure their pets in an effort to get pain meds prescribed.

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MedSafe Milestone: One Million Pounds – And Counting

Since 2014, Sharps Compliance has partnered with pharmacies, hospitals and clinics with on-site pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, and others to make approximately 3,000 MedSafe pharmaceutical collection kiosks accessible to ultimate users for the disposal of their home medicines. Those with unused/unwanted medications can – at no cost – bring their home medicines to a MedSafe unit for safe, DEA-complaint disposal. The program has generated an enthusiastic response: as of December 2018, over a million pounds of unused, ultimate-user medications have been deposited into MedSafe receptacles.
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