Quest Diagnostics proudly supports the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28, 2018

On Saturday, April 28, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is encouraging communities to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by discarding expired and unused prescription drugs in a safe, convenient, and responsible way.

How your patients dispose of prescription medication is an urgent public health issue

According to the DEA’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:

6.4 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs.

A majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Improper drug disposal such as flushing down the toilet or throwing into the garbage can pose public safety issues.

The connection to the national opioid epidemic

Opioids were involved with 66% of overdose deaths—nearly 115 each day—in 2016, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an important tool for healthcare providers to prevent opioid addiction and overdose.

Encourage patients to help protect their community and save a life by turning in unused prescriptions for safe disposal on April 28th

Americans have turned in a total of over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of prescription drugs at past Take Back events.2 Help your patients participate with these tools:

Patients can find a local Drug Take Back collection site here.

Patients can learn more by downloading the DEA’s Drug Take Back pamphlets,
available in English and Spanish:


English

Spanish

If patients don’t have access to a Take Back program, providers can offer the DEA’s guidance on how to properly dispose of medications to avoid misuse and accidental poisoning3:

  1. Remove the medication from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty bag, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

More tips on proper drug disposal can be found on the DEA’s website.

Quest is a proud supporter of Prescription Drug Take Back Day—and we work hard every day to help providers keep patients safe from drug misuse

Quest’s Prescription Drug Monitoring (PDM) program helps providers identify patients at risk of drug misuse, and may be a valuable tool in the fight against opioid misuse

Quest’s PDM program, through periodic urine drug testing, helps providers ensure the safety of their patients by allowing them to:

  • Monitor treatment plans
  • Detect other non-prescribed pain medication
  • Manage pain therapy safety by assisting with regulatory compliance
  • Test for other drugs of misuse (such as cocaine or methamphetamines)

For more information, visit QuestPDM.com.

You can also read the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ Prescription Drug Monitoring Report, the largest ever examination of prescription drug misuse patterns based on physician-ordered laboratory tests.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Understanding the epidemic. August 30, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html. Accessed March 30, 2018.
  2. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. National prescription drug take back day. September 29, 2017. https://www.ncadd.org/blogs/in-the-news/national-prescription-drug-take-back-day-october-28-2017. Accessed March 30, 2018.
  3. Drug Enforcement Agency. How to properly dispose of your unused medicines. https://www.dea.gov/take-back/docs/DEA-Unused-Medicine-Disposal-2017-ONLINE.PDF. Accessed March 30, 2018.