September 26, 2012
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, Sept. 29. Dentists are encouraged to talk with their patients about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and inform them that they can bring their unwanted or expired medications—including opioid painkillers—to disposal sites across the country. Click here to find a collection site near you.
Prescription medications are now the most commonly abused drugs among kids ages 12–13 and second to marijuana among young adults, according to 2010 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Studies show that a majority of these drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.
As prescribers of opioid pain medications, dentists can help address this problem by:
- Telling patients or their caregivers about the dangers of using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes;
- Urging patients or their caregivers to visit the Medicine Abuse Project at www.medicineabuseproject.org, where they can learn how to safely secure, monitor and dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications;
- Urging patients or their caregivers to visit their local DEA-approved prescription drug disposal site (mostly police stations); and
- Taking advantage of free CE webinars on modern-day opioid prescribing, available through the Prescribers’ Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies at www.pcss-o.org.
For more information or for collection locations, click here.