Patients destroying pain meds?

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    Just wondering how other clinics handle the situation of destroying pain meds. For example, say a patient was prescribed Percocet, but they had a reaction to it, so the doctor wants them to get rid of the Percocet before giving them a prescription for Vicodin. I know the pharmacy won't take meds back...and the clinic can't take the meds...how can you be sure the patient will destroy them? Can you make them destroy them AT the clinic (kitty litter/coffee grounds style)? (But then what do you do with them once destroyed?)
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

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    Check with your garbage, recycling, yard waste service provider. They should tell you what to do with old pills.

    In my area, central California, our garbage provider lists local agencies that accept old (or unneeded) pills. The patient's information or label needs to be removed and the pill bottles are placed in a sealable plastic bag provided by the agency.
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    Here in L.A., pharmacies are required to accept all drugs & syringes for disposal. Are you sure you asked your pharmacy manager? Every pharmacy I've ever worked with has special bins and containers for disposal that get sent to some company that incinerates them.
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    here at a pharmacy in the southeast, we take nothing from patients for disposal. i wish i could, but i can just offer the coffee ground method or a mail-in bag for 3.99
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    Where I am in MA, we have prescription drug disposal drop-boxes at the local police stations. Call around- see if a program exists where you are, and if not, see about starting one! It's good for the environment, and keeps pills out of children's/teens hands!
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    This is a national level question! I look forward to more comments from across the country on what is presently happening. Alot of the states are working at this as well as the feds.
    What is your facility doing?
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    I work at a university medical center, and our community/outpatient pharmacy does a "turn in old meds" day once or twice a year, where anyone in the community can turn in old medications and they will dispose of them properly. I'm pretty sure I've seen other (retail) pharmacies offer the same thing in other places over the years, also.
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    We had a family member die unexpectedly and had grocery bags full of their meds to dispose of and we had just missed the fall DEA disposal day so we called pharmacies and they didn't want to touch the stuff (most of them were physician samples and pain patches) and even the police dept wasn't helpful. We ended up putting them in with our normal trash and it went directly to the compactor at our apartment since we didn't want them hanging around until the spring DEA day. I wasn't a huge fan of trashing them the way we did, but I refuse to flush meds and have them end up in the water we drink.
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    Back to the question of how to assure the meds are destroyed so the patient in pain can obtain a new prescription......OP, how did this work out? Pain clinics nationwide must face this same dilemma .
  12. 0
    Dissolve the meds in water and pour over clumping kitty litter.


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