This Saturday, April 27, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It presents a great opportunity to shine a bright light on the dangers of having easily accessible, unused and expired prescription drugs in the home. This is especially true for opioids, which have contributed to the crisis affecting lives and families across Worcester, the state of Massachusetts, and the country.
For many adults with heroin use disorders, prescription opioids were their route of first exposure. We can encourage our patients, friends, and families to safely and easily dispose of opioids through our disposal box program. There is one currently located at the University Campus outpatient pharmacy, and a newly installed disposal box at the Memorial Campus outpatient pharmacy in the main lobby.
If you are not on campus during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, there are other disposal locations and options available to you. Opioids can be thrown in the trash if mixed with coffee grounds or kitty litter. They can even be flushed down the toilet if there are no other readily available options. Here is a list of opioids that the Food and Drug Administration recommend can be safely flushed.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will run from 10 am until 2 pm this Saturday. Last year more than 900,000 pounds of prescription medications were turned in across the country. Getting unused opioids out of our community has the potential to save lives! Learn more here.
Thank you for helping to support our efforts to prevent opioid addiction and overdoses -and improving the health of our communities.
Kavita Babu, MD, is the director of the division of Medical Toxicology and an emergency department physician at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Last year she was appointed as the system’s chief opioid officer and leader of its Opioid Crisis Task Force.