New Drug Deactivation System Allows Safe Disposal of Opioids at Home

New Drug Deactivation System Allows Safe Disposal of Opioids at Home
A new technology allows patients to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription painkillers at home. Hooshang Shanehsaz, RPh, DPH, Director of Pharmacy at Cardinal Health, who co-directed a pilot study of the drug deactivation system, says patients found it easy to use. A person using the Deterra® Drug Deactivation System simply puts their medication in a bag containing a carbon that bonds to pharmaceutical compounds when water is added. The person adds water and shakes it up to neutralize the active ingredient in the drug, explains Dr. Shanehsaz, who is Vice President of the Delaware Board of Pharmacy. The biodegradable bag can then be placed into the trash. In the past, pharmacists have told patients to dispose of unused or expired medications by putting them in cat litter, sawdust or used coffee grounds. These materials absorb some of the medication, but much of it still remains and can still be...
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Almost 60 Percent of Americans Have Opioids at Home They No Longer Use

Almost 60 Percent of Americans Have Opioids at Home They No Longer Use
Almost 60 percent of Americans say they have opioid painkillers at home that they no longer use, according to a new survey. Twenty percent say they have shared their opioid pills with another person. Almost 75 percent of those who shared their prescription said they did so to help someone else manage their pain, The Washington Post reports. An additional 17 percent said they shared their medication because the other person couldn’t afford medication or did not have insurance. The finding are published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researcher Colleen L. Barry of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said the survey indicates that many Americans do not realize sharing opioids can have non-intended consequences for people who are susceptible to addiction. She said health officials need to send “a clear-cut public health message that these medications should never be shared in any circumstance.” The survey found only 21 percent...
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Walgreens to Install Disposal Kiosks for Prescription Drugs at More Than 500 Stores

Walgreens to Install Disposal Kiosks for Prescription Drugs at More Than 500 Stores
Walgreens announced recently it will install kiosks in more than 500 stores in 39 states by the end of the year to allow customers to safely dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. The pharmacy chain will also make the opioid overdose antidote naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Customers will be able to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, at no cost, the company said. Most of the kiosks will be located in stores open 24 hours a day. They will “offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else,” the company stated. “By continuing to counsel our patients on the safe and effective use of medications and by making this opioid antidote more accessible, we’re going to be proactive in fixing this problem,” Richard Ashwood, President of...
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