The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
How does this Apply to our Senior Community?
University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation conducted a poll of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, found that nearly one-third had received an opioid such as OxyContin or Vicodin in the past two years, mainly for arthritis pain, back pain, surgery and/or an injury.
Only 37 percent of patients said their doctor discussed what to do with leftover opioid pills, while 25 percent said their pharmacist had done so. Half of the respondents who'd been prescribed an opioid said they didn't use all their pills, and 86 percent said they kept leftover opioids for later potential use.
According to Alison Bryant, senior vice president of research for AARP, "The fact that so many older adults report having leftover opioid pills is a big problem, given the risk of abuse and addiction with these medications."
Bryant explained that "having unused opioids in the house, often stored in unlocked medicine cabinets, is a big risk to other family members as well. These findings highlight the importance of improving older adults' awareness and access to services that will help them safely dispose of unused opioid medications."
Please visit the Take Back Day website for
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