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As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities and families across America, the search for ways to address the scourge continues. Too frequently, the path to addiction starts with an old, half-used, or even unused prescriptions, found in the medicine cabinet of your home.
In fact, a recent survey on drug use and health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that more than 40 percent of non-medical prescription opioid users obtained their drugs from a friend or relative for free. Further, more than 13 percent of users said they either stole or bought the drugs from a friend or relative. Greatest concerns are unused opioids, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.
One of the best ways to prevent these medications from ending up in the wrong hands is to provide effective options for discarding the unused opioids. Even if our immediate families aren’t likely to be abusing drugs, not enough thought is given to those who visit our homes – relatives, dinner party guests, your kids’ friends, home repair workers, domestic helpers – just to name a few.