Know Your Script: Safe Disposal Of Opioids Key To Overdose Prevention
Mar 23, 2021, 1:47 PM
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Nationally, nearly 26 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018, and in Utah, 437 people died of an overdose.
Opioids are strong and highly addictive. Disposing of leftover pills the proper way is key to overdose prevention.
“Sometimes children, teenagers or even other adults could inadvertently get into those medications and cause overdose or harm to them,” said Kim Compagni, a pain management specialist with Intermountain Healthcare.
She said while people may be tempted to hang on to extra pills, it’s best to avoid stockpiling. Leftover pills should be promptly discarded.
The safest way to do that is by dropping them off at a safe disposal location.
Compagni discouraged people from throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toiled. She said dropping them off at a designated disposal location keeps the water clean and is environmentally friendly.
“So many times people leave medications in their cupboards, in their medicine cabinet, thinking, ‘I may need to get that down the road,'” Compagni said. “But in fact, they could actually … cause more harm to other people or themselves in the future by not properly disposing of them.”
Ultimately, your decision to get rid of leftovers could save a life.
Compagni said now is the best time to do some spring cleaning.
To find a safe disposal drop off location near you, visit knowyourscript.org.